Inflammatory Bowel Disease Health (cont.)
William A Rowe, MD
Shehnaz Shaikh, MD
Jonathan Adler, MD
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
BS Anand, MD
Venkatachala Mohan, MD
In this Article
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Follow-up
Persons with inflammatory bowel disease are prone to the development of malignancy (cancer). In Crohn's disease, there is a higher rate of small intestinal malignancy. Persons with involvement of the whole colon, particularly ulcerative colitis, are at a higher risk of developing colonic malignancy after 8 to 10 years of the onset of the disease. For cancer prevention, surveillance colonoscopy every 1 to 2 years after 8 years of disease is recommended.
Use of corticosteroids may lead to debilitating illness, particularly after long-term use. You should consider trying more aggressive therapies rather than remaining on corticosteroids because of the potential for side effects with these drugs.
Patients taking steroids should undergo a yearly ophthalmologic examination because of the risk of development of cataracts.
Persons with IBD have a reduction in bone density, either from decreased calcium absorption (because of the underlying disease process) or because of corticosteroid use. Crippling osteoporosis can be a very serious complication. If you have significantly low bone density, you will be administered bisphosphonates and calcium supplements.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Prevention
No known dietary or lifestyle change prevents the development of inflammatory bowel disease.
Dietary manipulation may help symptoms in persons with ulcerative colitis, and it actually may help reduce inflammation in Crohn's disease. However, there is no evidence that consuming or avoiding any particular food item causes or avoids flare-ups of IBD.
Smoking cessation is the only lifestyle change that may benefit persons with Crohn's disease. Smoking has been linked to increases in the number and severity of flare-ups of Crohn's disease. Smoking cessation occasionally is sufficient to make a person with refractory (not responding to treatment) Crohn's disease goes into remission.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/10/2013
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