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Age-related diseases: inflammatory bowel disease

This blog is the eighth part of a new series that builds upon a previous blog that discussed common chronic diseases for seniors. The eighth blog will focus on inflammatory bowel disease.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term that refers to two conditions: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract characterizes IBD. Crohn’s disease involves inflammation and sores along the lining of the large intestine. Meanwhile, ulcerative colitis commonly involves inflammation of the small intestine. IBD is an autoimmune disease, meaning the immune system becomes overactivated and attacks normal tissues.

Risk factors for IBD include age, a family history of the condition, and the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Cigarette smoking is another common risk factor.

The most common symptoms of IBD are abdominal pain, weight loss, persistent diarrhea, reduced appetite, and fatigue. There is no single test that can diagnose IBD. However, a combination of imaging studies, stool samples, and blood tests can help with diagnosis.

You can reduce your risk of developing IBD by consuming a healthy and balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and limiting your exposure to antibiotics.

Surgeries to remove damaged portions of the gastrointestinal tract can help treat IBD. In addition, medications such as corticosteroids and immunomodulators can be used in treatment.

The Boom Health app allows you to manage your loved one’s home care in one app and takes the stress out of organizing care. Download the app on the App Store or Google Play Store.

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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