What is inflammatory bowel disease and what symptoms does it present?
Inflammatory bowel disease is not really a disease, it is a set of diseases. It is a group of diseases that, at the moment, we have in the same chapter of a book. But they are very varied diseases. Time will tell us that they are probably different things. But to date we know that they are inflammations of an unknown nature that affect the digestive system , specifically the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus, in Crohn's disease, or just the colon in ulcerative colitis. These diseases are manifested by very varied symptoms , but they predominate, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, weight loss. Although there are patients with different symptoms. There are cases of ulcerative colitis with constipation, fistulas in Crohn's disease, there are joint problems, there are dermatological problems, there is a wide range of symptoms that can make this type of disease debut.
Which is the treatment?
Regarding the treatment of inflammatory disease, I always tell my patients that it is like a pulse against inflammation. There are patients who need to give less anti-inflammatory, and there are patients who have to give more anti-inflammatory power. There we put the immunosuppressants, the biological drugs. Not all patients need such a complex treatment, it is not necessary to dramatize so much, it is the tip of the iceberg. There are patients who are easily controlled with probiotics or with milder medications, or even with simpler dietary adjustments. I believe that each case is a world and it is convenient to discuss with your doctor, with your reference specialist to advise you.
Is it cured or is it a chronic disease?
Intestinal Inflammatory Disease is a chronic disease , but it is not that the patient is always ill but has the tendency to relapse at any time. There are patients who may have an outbreak of ulcerative colitis once in their life and not get sick anymore. And there are other patients with Crohn's disease who are permanently active if we do not treat them. Let's say that it is an inflammation maintained in time because we do not know the cause that causes it because we can not cure it definitively until this moment.
What type of diet is recommended or what foods should we avoid?
Regarding food, at this time it has not been proven that any specific food causes a reactivation or aggravation of inflammatory disease, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.. But there are a number of dietary recommendations, specifically in the form of reducing high-fiber foods in times of outbreak, diarrhea. I particularly also in Crohn's disease, in some types of Crohn's disease, I recommend removing the milk. But it is a personal opinion that someday I will be able to comment more in depth.