What is inflammatory bowel disease and what are the symptoms?
Inflammatory bowel disease is not really a disease, is a group of diseases. It is a group of diseases that, for now, we have them in the same chapter in a book. But they are very different diseases. Time will tell which are probably different things. But to date we know are inflammation of unknown nature that affect the digestive system, specifically the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus, Crohn's disease, or just the colon in ulcerative colitis. These diseases are manifested by symptoms varied, but overall, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, weight loss. Although there are patients with different symptoms. There are cases of ulcerative colitis with constipation, fistulas in Crohn's disease, there are joint problems, skin problems there, there is a whole wide range of symptoms that can debut these diseases.
What is the treatment?
Regarding treatment of inflammatory disease, I always tell my patients that is as a pulse against inflammation. There are patients who need to give less inflammatory, and some patients have to give more anti-inflammatory potency. Here we put the immunosuppressive biologics. Not all patients require complex treatment, we should not dramatize it is the tip of the iceberg. There are patients that are easily controlled with probiotics or milder medications, or even a simple dietary adjustments. I think every case is different and it is convenient to discuss with your doctor, with reference specialist for advice.
Is there a cure or a chronic illness?
Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a chronic disease, but is not that the patient is always bad but has the tendency to relapse at any time. Patients may have a bout of ulcerative colitis once in their life and not get sick more. And there are other patients with Crohn's disease who are permanently active if not treat. Call it a sustained swelling over time because not knowing the cause that causes it can not cure it permanently so far.
What kind of diet is recommended and what foods should we avoid?
With respect to food, there are currently no proven that any specific food causes a reactivation or aggravation of inflammatory disease, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. But there are a number of dietary recommendations, notably in the form of lower fiber foods in times of outbreak of diarrhea. I also particularly Crohn's disease, some types of Crohn's disease, I recommend removing milk. But it is a personal opinion that some day I will comment more in depth.