IBD is a term that refers to two distinct diseases called Ulcerative Colitis, and Crohn’s disease. Both are autoimmune diseases where the body’s immune system attacks the digestive tract in different areas. Any part of the large intestine may be impacted in Ulcerative Colitis. In Crohn’s disease, the entire intestinal tract along with any other part of the digestive tract such as the mouth may be affected.
Signs and Symptoms
Patients with IBD may have a constellation of symptoms. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, rectal bleeding, diarrhea or constipation, muscle cramps or spasms, fever, weight loss, mouth sores, or anemia.
Please contact your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms above.
Proper diagnosis starts when patients describe their systems to their primary doctor will likely refer them to a gastroenterologist or a specialist for IBD. The doctor will take a thorough history and perform an examination. They will also likely order blood tests, possibly imaging, and likely recommend a procedure called a colonoscopy and/or endoscopy to visualize the intestines and digestive tract.
There are many ways of treating IBD which differ according to severity of the disease and patient preference. There are medical therapies, changes in diet, alternative medicine, and surgery for those who may need it.
Medical marijuana may help manage IBD, whether it is Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. It is approved for use by NY state in patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and certified by an authorized healthcare provider.
Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation – http://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Resource Center – http://ibd-rc.com/