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Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Over 3 million American adults are diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a given year. If you struggle with IBD-related issues, including weight loss, abdominal pain, and chronic fatigue, you can receive the care you need with Rajesh Mehta, MD, and the team at Lone Star Gastroenterology (affiliated with Boston Scientific) in Austin, Texas. Call the office to book an appointment or request one online today.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Q & A

What is inflammatory bowel disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a broad term that describes conditions that cause ongoing inflammation of your intestinal tract. The most common types of IBD include ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Ulcerative colitis means that you have ulcers or small sores throughout the inner lining of your large intestine and rectum. If you have Crohn’s disease, you wind up with chronic inflammation of the intestinal lining. 


Why do I have inflammatory bowel disease?

Medical experts aren’t clear as to why some men and women are more likely to develop inflammatory bowel disease; several issues likely play a role. 

Immune system issues can lead to IBD, for instance. When your immune system fights off a foreign invader, it unintentionally attacks the lining of your digestive tract at the same time. This can lead to chronic inflammation.

In addition to your genetics, any of the following factors can increase your risk of inflammatory bowel disease:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Diet high in processed, low-fiber foods
  • Long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Without proper treatment, inflammatory bowel disease can lead to serious complications, including joint problems, blood clots, and colon cancer. Because of these concerns, early intervention with Lone Star Gastroenterology is essential.  

What is the treatment for inflammatory bowel disease?

The severity of inflammatory bowel disease symptoms varies dramatically. You may experience occasional abdominal pain or diarrhea, all the way up to unplanned weight loss and blood in your stool. In any case, your Lone Star Gastroenterology provider spends time carefully evaluating you and conducting diagnostic testing to get to the root of your condition.

Depending on the details of your inflammatory bowel disease diagnosis, your provider may recommend any of the following treatments:

  • Antibiotic medications
  • Immune system suppression with medications
  • Corticosteroids or other anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Dietary supplements, including fiber, iron, and calcium

These conservative therapies aren’t always effective for more severe cases of inflammatory bowel disease. For more serious issues, your physician could recommend surgery to remove the damaged portion of your colon or rectum. 

If inflammatory bowel disease is starting to impact your quality of life, call Lone Star Gastroenterology or book an appointment online today.