Inflammatory bowel disease are disorders caused by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. IBD mainly includes the following conditions
- Ulcerative colitis ; a condition involving inflammation and ulcers along the lining of large intestine (colon and rectum).
- Crohn's disease; causes inflammation and pain along the linings of the digestive tract . Mainly the small intestine and the upper part of large intestine and less commonly in the upper GI tract. It also involves the deeper layers of the intestine.
Signs and symptoms of IBD
- Abdominal pain and cramps
- Flatulence, bloating
- Bowel urgency
- Mucus and blood in stool
- Lack of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Fever, joint pains
The symptoms can vary based on severity and site of inflammation. There are periods of active illness followed by periods of remission.
Causes and risk factors of IBD;
The cause of IBD is unknown. One of the possibility is an immune system malfunction that attacks the cells in the digestive tract. Heredity also plays a role in IBD. Triggering factors like cigarette smoking, excessive use of NSAID’s, poor diet and stress can aggravate the symptoms of IBD.
Complications of IBD are colorectal cancer , bowel obstruction, anal fissure., fistula, malnutrition, blood clots ,anemia , anal stenosis , severe dehydration, perforated colon , joint inflammation, liver disease etc.
Investigations and diagnosis;
Diagnosis of IBD can be made on the basis of signs and symptoms and investigations like CBC ,stool test , colonoscopy , endoscopic ultrasound, sigmoidoscopy , CT or MRI.
IBD is a lifelong condition. Medication and surgery can help manage IBD flares , putting the condition into long periods of remission.
Dietary and lifestyle changes can help control the symptoms of IBD. Balanced diet and proper hydration. Avoiding food that irritates the intestine like spicy sour oily and dairy products, beverages like coffee, alcohol etc. Healthy way to manage stress , quit smoking, plenty of sleep and physical activities
Management of IBD in Ayurveda
In Ayurveda IBD can be correlated to grahani roga , pitta athisara and raktha athisara. Agni ( digestive fire ) is responsible for digestion of food in the digestive tract. Due to indulgence in improper diet and physical activities, the function of agni is disturbed and ama (toxins) is developed. This causes vitiation of kapha and pitta dosha , leading to inflammatory changes in the intestine causing ulcers , diarrhoea , malabsorption , weakness, anemia etc .
Ayurvedic treatment involves medications and treatments that focus on bringing agni to normalcy ,remove amatva and to regain health. Ayurvedic medication like guduchyadi kashaya , tikthaka kashaya, panchakola choorna, harithakyadi choorna, dadimashtaka choorna , mustharishta etc are agni deepana , ama pachana ,grahi and vrna ropana in nature. Panchakarma therapies like mrdu virechana and vasti can be administered based on the condition of the patient under the supervision of Ayurvedic physicians.