Treatment For Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Treatment for Inflammatory Bowel DiseaseInflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, refers to a group of gastrointestinal disorders that affect the small intestines and colon, characterized by abdominal pain and diarrhea. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are two common forms of inflammatory bowel disorders and affect the health of hundreds of thousands of people in the United States. Treatment of inflammatory bowel disorders focuses on three areas: medication, combination therapy, and surgery.

In this article, you will learn about the different methods of treatment for IBD including their respective implications.

Treatment Procedure 1: Medication

The following are common drugs for dealing with inflammatory bowel disease:

  • Sedatives and antidiarrheal medications. These drugs reduce peristaltic movement to allow the bowels to relax.
  • Aminosalicylates. These drugs are endorsed for mild to moderate inflammation for situations in which the patient may experience recurring inflammation. A common example of aminosalicylates on the market is sulfasalazine.
  • Antibiotics. These drugs are used to treat secondary infections and purulent complications such as peritonitis and abscesses. Metronidazole is a common antibiotic for inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Corticosteroids. For severe cases of infection, these are administered either orally, topically or parenterally. Long-term therapy from corticosteroids may lead to adverse effects such as hypertension, cataracts, poor wound healing, etc. Popular examples of corticosteroids are prednisone, hydrocortisone and budesonide.

Treatment Procedure 2: Combination Therapy

As the name implies, combination therapy of inflammatory bowel disease includes the use of more than one drug in treating the disease. Combination therapy is indicated for individuals whose treatment from single medication is found to be ineffective and when other therapies are not working. Examples of combination therapy for inflammatory bowel disease are using immunomodulators such as cyclosporine, methotrexate and azathioprine.

One drawback of combination therapy is the side effects that occur when  interacting with other drugs in the body. That said, patients with inflammatory bowel disorder should be explicit with their healthcare providers when they are taking other drugs or medication.

Treatment Produce 3: Surgery

Many people diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease go through surgical intervention. Individuals who experience complications from disease or treatment are likely to remove their small intestines, colon or rectum. This section gives you an overview of the common surgical procedures for inflammatory bowel disease.

  • Laparoscope-guided strictureplasty. A type of procedure performed to widen strictures (narrowings)  in the small intestines.
  • Ileostomy. The lowest part of the small intestine, the ileum, is brought through an opening in the lower right side of the abdomen and is called a stoma.
  • Total colectomy.   This is the removal of the entire colon, or large intestine.
  • Total colectomy with ileostomy. A surgical operation that involves the creation of ileal stoma on the abdominal wall following total colectomy, or complete removal of the colon.
  • Continent ileostomy. In continent ileostomy, a continent ileal reservoir (e.g Koch pouch) is created by diverting a part of the distal ileum to the abdominal wall. Often for individuals with a disease-affected rectum (who do not want their rectums removed), continent ileostomy discourages the use of a fecal collection bag. Instead, liquid wastes are removed from the reservoir using a catheter.
  • Restorative proctolectomy with ileal pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA). Restorative proctolectomy with ileal pouch anal anastomosis is similar to continent ileostomy in that it spares the rectum from being removed. In this procedure, a portion of the ileum is shaped like a reservoir and is connected to the anus at the same time, removing the entire colon and rectal mucosa. Individuals who undergo the procedure remain in control of voluntary defecation.