For those who have frequent bouts with abdominal pain, IBD or inflammatory bowel disease may be the cause. It is estimated that about 1.6 million adults in the US suffer from IBD with as many as 70,000 new cases being diagnosed each year. At Pinnacle GI Partners, we provide exceptional gastrointestinal care and specialize in IBD.
Common IBD Symptoms
IBD can present a number of different symptoms and many times they come and go. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. They may appear suddenly sometimes, but other times gradually worsen over time. It’s called an IBD flare when you have an onset of symptoms. A few of the common symptoms may include:
- Upset stomach
- Diarrhea alternating with constipation
- Some rare IBD symptoms include:
- Achy, painful joints
- Vision problems
- Skin ulcers
- Itchy, painful, red eyes
Five Frequent Warning Signs of IBD
Inflammatory bowel disease can range from mild to severe. While there’s no single cause that can be identified for those who suffer from IBD, most GI specialists contribute the condition to an immune system that fails to react properly to a trigger. The two most common types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis and they have numerous common symptoms including these five warning signs.
- Diarrhea – One of the most difficult symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease is frequent bouts of diarrhea, and it can often contain blood. In severe cases, an individual may have up to 10 episodes of diarrhea in a single day. The digestive tract becomes swollen and irritated so the food passes through too fast and doesn’t allow water to be reabsorbed properly by the colon.
- Abdominal Pain – One of the most telltale signs of IBD is pain in the abdominal area. Many people describe it as persistent cramping that cannot be relieved by changing position or passing gas.
- Rectal Bleeding – When a person has IBD, the bowels become inflamed and large ulcers can develop. They are large enough that they bleed during bowel movements. Rectal bleeding can also be caused by hemorrhoids. Whenever you discover blood in your stool, it’s always a reason for concern and you should talk to a GI specialist and be evaluated.
- Unplanned Weight Loss – For those who struggle with IBD, the struggle with a low appetite can mean failing to take in an adequate number of calories. This often leads to unintentional or rapid weight loss. Discuss your weight loss concerns with a qualified GI specialist.
- Fatigue – When a person has to deal with constant pain and frequent bouts of diarrhea, it can easily lead to low energy and fatigue. If you often find you are too tired to do the things you need or love to do, and it’s accompanied by other IBD symptoms, schedule an appointment with a GI specialist to discuss treatment options.
What to do if You Experience These and Other Symptoms of IBD
Unfortunately, there isn’t a known cure for inflammatory bowel disease. However, the GI specialists at Pinnacle GI Partners have decades of experience helping patients manage symptoms so they can enjoy a normal life. If you believe you are suffering from IBD, reach out today so you can receive and benefit from compassionate, comprehensive care.