There’s no known way to prevent IBD. But there may be things you can do to help reduce your risk. IBD develops due a combination of four factors:
The microbiome consists of microbes, including bacteria and fungi. These microbes reside in our bodies. In the digestive system, the microbiome influences our metabolism, immune system, and other body functions.
“For most people who develop IBD, it’s a mix of several of these factors that then leads to chronic inflammation,” explained Dr. Ananthakrishnan.
It’s possible that these things may increase your chances of having IBD:
To help reduce your risk of developing IBD:
Breastfeeding during infancy has been shown to reduce risk of IBD in children. Studies also have shown that people who exercise regularly may have a lower risk of developing IBD.
Patients with IBD often have these symptoms:
If you have symptoms that include weight loss and large amounts of blood in stools, contact your primary care provider (PCP) right away. Early diagnosis may help prevent permanent bowel damage.
If you have IBD, there are different treatment options depending on the severity of the disease:
For some patients, surgery to remove damaged bowel tissue is the best option to restore quality of life.
These treatments can help patients control symptoms and improve their quality of life.