Is It Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is always something that should be ruled out when you are dealing with long term, severe, or life-impeding gut concerns. This is an umbrella term that includes digestive disorders with chronic inflammation. The two most common are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Ulcerative colitis involves only the large intestine and operates at a superficial level creating ulcers (hence the name), whereas Crohn’s disease can involve your entire digestive tract and inflammation can impact the deeper layers of tissue as well as the superficial layers.
Often these diseases are marked by diarrhea, bloody stools, abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss. However, not all symptoms may be present and it may appear as something more like SIBO, dysbiosis, irritable bowel syndrome or another functional gut concern.
To assess for the presence of IBD I always start with blood work. The gold standard for testing is an intestinal biopsy completed on colonoscopy (most commonly). Understanding if IBD is present is crucial because it is treated more aggressively to keep you safe.
Ensure your doctor is doing their due diligence and be certain you get the testing you deserve. If you do not have a doctor yet, look for one who is familiar with testing options. The doctors here at Arizona Natural Medicine® are well-versed and happy to help. Reach out today to see if we are the right fit for you.