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Chron’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Irritable bowel syndrome is known as IBS. While most cases of IBS are treated with medication and reducing stress levels in lifestyle, others are more serious. These are Chron’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

The average colon is 27 feet long. It helps absorb nutrients while removing waste from the system. Ulcerative colitis is more common than Chron’s. It is confined to the large bowel while Chron’s includes both large and small intestine.

It begins with sores, also called ulcers, that form in the wall of the bowel. As they become irritated due to stress, diet, heredity, or unknown factors, they will cause the bowel wall to become inflamed.

Symptoms of onset include severe abdominal pain, watery diarrhea which may be accompanied by blood or mucous, or constipation, and/or nausea. Physicians will usually order a CT scan and/or colonoscopy to confirm the diagnosis and screen for cancer.

Treatments include anti-inflammatory medications formulated for the bowel, steroids, reduction in stress, eliminating dairy and raw vegetable intake, and sometimes surgery. These two forms of IBS are chronic, with remissions and flare-ups. The purpose of treatments is to help keep it in remission.

These forms of IBS increase risk for colon cancer after approximately 8 years of initial onset. However, colonoscopy is recommended every two years to ensure that it is still under control. If you are at risk, get screened. You’ve got the guts!

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