No matter how many complaints it causes, people do not like to talk about bowel problems. Anyone who has had severe abdominal cramps or has had diarrhea for an extended period of time should definitely see a doctor.
Inflammatory bowel disease could be behind the constant discomfort in the abdomen. according to German Crohn’s disease / DCCV More than 320,000 people in Germany are affected. The two most common forms are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
In ulcerative colitis, the colon is chronically inflamed. This leads to severe, bloody and sticky diarrhea. Any part of the digestive system can be affected by Crohn’s disease. “Diarrhea is not always in the foreground,” explains Professor Britta Sigmund, director of the medical clinic with a focus on gastroenterology, infectious diseases and rheumatology at the Charité in Berlin. “Sometimes the symptoms are a general feeling of illness, fever, or pain.”
Complaints come in spurts. There is no cure for chronic inflammatory bowel disease. “Most patients can be modified so that they can lead a relatively normal life,” says Sigmund. However, there are always cases when the treatment does not work as intended. Problems arise especially when the disease is diagnosed late or has not been treated optimally for a long time. Sigmund urgently advises those affected to seek treatment from a specialist they trust and who visit regularly.
Several medications are used in the treatment. It is not always possible to control all complaints about it. If the persistent inflammation causes scarring, fistula, or intestinal contractions, there is no way to get around the process.
It’s not clear what causes IBD. Changes in living conditions seem to play an important role, but genetic factors are also relevant. You cannot prevent diseases. Also, it is not known that a certain lifestyle has a positive or negative effect on the cycle. With one exception: “Anyone with Crohn’s disease should quit smoking immediately,” says Wolfgang Croese, chief physician at the Clinic for Gastroenterology, Pulmonology and General Internal Medicine at the Evangelical Hospital in Kalk in Cologne.
During symptom-free times, people should lead an “active and healthy life”: exercise, relaxation exercises and good nutrition. Environmental ecologist Gudrun Beeler Nagel, who advises patients with gastrointestinal diseases at the Asklepios Western Clinic in Hamburg, recommends “traditional and natural dishes” that can be prepared with little effort. Basically you should eat what you want, but avoid ready meals and highly processed foods.
The way friends and acquaintances cope with the disease is also important to the well-being of those affected. The environment must accept that Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can’t go along with everything. “Activities where there is no toilet nearby is the greatest horror trip for some of these patients,” says Wolfgang-Croese. (Dpa)