Medical Myths - All About IBD Medical Myths - All About IBD

Medical Myths: All About IBD

 

This edition addresses some of the most common misconceptions about inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We will look at treatments, the role of stress, personality, and other symptoms associated with the condition beyond the digestive system.

People with IBD often experience abdominal cramping, bloating, constipation, and diarrhoea, all of which are symptoms that affect the gastrointestinal system.

A disorder where symptoms can vary and persist for days, weeks, or months. The two most common types of IBD are Crohn's illness and ulcerative colitis. Treatment typically involves lifestyle modifications, medications, and sometimes surgery.

1. IBD Is The Same As IBS

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are conditions that cause digestive tract inflammation. It includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. On the other hand, IBS is not a disease but rather a collection of signs and symptoms that include abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in eating habits. It is typically not associated with inflammation or digestive tract damage.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is when the digestive system and the brain interact abnormally, often resulting in symptoms such as diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, and abdominal pain. Stress and anxiety can exacerbate these symptoms and may even trigger them.

Autoimmune enteropathy is when the immune system mistakenly targets healthy cells in the gastrointestinal system, leading to inflammation and damage.

The disease, which can have devastating consequences on a person's daily functioning, can cause significant stress and anxiety, as well as depression and sleep disturbances. Symptoms of the disease can include rectal pain, stool bleeding, diarrhoea, severe abdominal pain, fatigue, unintentional weight loss, chills, and more.

2. Stress Causes IBD

Although stress can worsen IBD symptoms, it does not cause the condition. The cause of IBD is currently unknown, but stress may be a factor in triggering flares and exacerbating symptoms. This could explain why many people are unsure about the connection between stress and IBD.

3. IBD Is Linked To A Specific Type Of Personality

Although some studies have suggested a possible correlation between personality traits and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), no definitive evidence supports this link. This indicates that there is not enough research to confirm any link between personality traits and IBD.

4. Some People Have Both Ulcerative Colitis And Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is a chronic disorder that affects the digestive tract, whereas ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the large intestine. Symptoms of each condition can vary, but common symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fatigue, and weight loss.

However, in rare cases, Crohn's and ulcerative colitis symptoms can overlap, making distinguishing between the two diseases difficult. In these cases, doctors may need to use a combination of diagnostic tests and keep track of the patient's symptoms over time to determine the correct diagnosis.

The type and severity of the disease determine the most effective treatment plan. Patients are advised to seek medical advice and remain hopeful that treatments can positively impact their condition.

These drugs treat various diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and other autoimmune diseases. They are designed to reduce the body's immune response and can effectively control inflammation and reduce the severity of a patient's symptoms. However, these drugs can also cause serious side effects, and patients need to discuss the risks and benefits of these drugs with a doctor before taking them.

5. Everyone With IBD Needs Surgery

Surgery is not necessary for everyone with IBD, as it was commonly recommended in the past.

In the past two decades, introducing highly effective and safe immunosuppressant medications has dramatically decreased the number of surgeries performed.

It is estimated that 15% of people diagnosed with ulcerative colitis will need surgery within ten years. However, due to advanced treatments, this percentage is expected to decline.

Treatment aims to prevent the need for surgery due to complications of bowel damage. Treatment with potent medications shortly after diagnosis can help prevent further damage and the need for surgery.

6. People Should Not Take Medications For IBD During Pregnancy

This statement is inaccurate. Many IBD medications are not recommended during pregnancy due to potential risks to the baby's health. It is essential to consult with a doctor before taking any IBD medications during pregnancy.

The aim is to maintain IBD patients in remission while carrying a child, as an active condition of the disease would be detrimental to both the baby and the mother.

Women with IBD are advised to discontinue methotrexate before any plans for pregnancy are made.

7. If Your Symptoms Disappear, You Can Stop Taking Your Medication

Although the symptoms of IBD may subside once a drug regimen is started, doctors advise that medicine should be continued as prescribed. Stopping the medication can cause the symptoms to return.

If treatment is stopped, the symptoms may reoccur, and the same treatments may no longer be effective. This could have severe consequences for the individual's health.

If therapy is discontinued, the signs and symptoms can return, and the same treatments may no longer be effective. This can have severe repercussions on the person's physical and mental well-being.

8. If Your Symptoms Disappear, You Can Stop Taking Your Medication

Although the symptoms of IBD may subside once a drug regimen is started, doctors advise that medicine should be continued as prescribed. Stopping the medication can cause the symptoms to return.

If treatment is stopped, the symptoms may reoccur, and the same treatments may no longer be effective. This could have severe consequences for the individual's health.

If therapy is discontinued, the signs and symptoms can return, and the same treatments may no longer be effective. This can have severe repercussions on the person's physical and mental well-being.

9. A Gluten-Free Diet Cures IBD

Those with celiac or non-celiac gluten intolerance may benefit from a gluten-free diet. However, this type of diet is not recommended for those with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

10. IBD Only Affects The Gut

As its name implies, IBD is primarily associated with the bowel but can also have a wide-ranging impact on other body parts.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can affect more than just the bowel, significantly impacting other body parts. IBD is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the digestive tract, causing various symptoms.

A review of extraintestinal manifestations of IBD concluded that they can affect many organ systems, making it difficult for doctors to treat those with IBD effectively.

11. IBD Is Curable

The researchers devote immense effort to gaining a deeper comprehension of the condition to devise more efficient treatments and, if possible, a definitive remedy. There is no cure yet.

12. People With IBD Cannot Lead An Everyday Life

Despite the misconception, individuals with IBD can lead a healthy life with the help of medical interventions and, in some cases, surgery. With the proper medical management and, sometimes, surgery, IBD patients can live an utterly everyday life.

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