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The intestinal tract runs from the stomach to the anus. Within that vast regions a number of digestive conditions can occur. Most people will suffer diarrhea or constipation due to illness, something they ate or a disorder. Most conditions will resolve themselves in time but sometimes medical attention must be sought to cure and treat the situation. All intestinal diseases that appear can be treated or cured when prompt medical treatment is sought.
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome, commonly known as "IBS", causes the muscles of the large intestine to contract continuously which results in severe cramping and boughts of diarrhea or constipation. The conditions can cause excessive amounts of gas and often prove embarrassing for the sufferer. It is estimated that up to 20 percent of people suffer from IBS, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Sufferers often experience more extreme bouts during times of stress or unrest.
A doctor will normally diagnose IBS after evaluating all of the sufferers symptoms. A colonoscopy may be performed by inserting a camera into the patients rectum to view the bowel closely. Blood tests and xrays may also be ordered to attain a diagnosis.
Treatment for IBS involves adding fiber to the diet and treating the patient with medications. Antispasmodics medications are normally prescribed to lessen the cramping and antidepressants help relieve any stress the patient may be feeling. Muscle relaxants are also sometimes prescribed to keep the patient from suffering from constipation.
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Diverticular disease can develop in both the large and small intestine. The disorder occurs when small pouches occur in the intestines. When one of the pouches burst the sufferer may experience pain and fever. Blood may be detected in the stool of the patient. The incidence of the disorder increases with age. It rarely occurs in anyone under the age of forty.
If the patient suffers severe intestinal bleeding hospitalization may be required to for treatment. Diagnosis of the disorder is usually made utilizing a barium enema so that x-rays can be obtained and the colon visualized. A colonoscope may also be used to confirm the diagnosis.
Anti-spasmodic drugs are often prescribed for treatment. The sufferer will normally benefit from avoiding seeds or nuts which can become trapped in the pouches of the intestine which results in irritation. Antibiotics may also need to be prescribed.
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Ulcerative colitis occurs when ulcers develop within the large intestine and the rectum. Inflammation kills the cells within the intestine. Once the cells die ulcers occur which may bleed. The chronic inflamation causes the sufferer to have boughts of diarrhea.
The disorder can occur at any age but occurence lessens with age. It appears to run in families. Ulcerative colitis occurs when the person immune system attack the intestines. It usually develops at times of stress or emotional turmoil. Food allergies can also cause the conditions to begin.
A complete medical evaluation will be performed. Blood work will also be ordered. A fecal test is sometimes utilized to detect blood and white blood cells. A complete diagnosis is made using a colonoscopy. A biopsy of the inflamed tissue may also be obtained.
Medication is prescribed to reduce the inflamation, controlthe immune system and reduce the risk of infection. Pain medicines are also sometimes prescribed. In severe cases surgery may be required to remove damaged segments of colon. Currently, there is no cure but only control of the disease.
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