How can I tell if my IBD is getting worse?


Like many people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), there are good days and bad days. These bad days can be a sign that Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis is becoming more active. There is a nature.

What are some warning signs that IBD is active?

Some people with IBD may have clear signs of disease recurrence, also known as a “flare.” Signs of active Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis include:

  • blood or mucus in stool
  • stomach ache
  • more frequent bowel movements
  • Urgency to defecate
  • rectal pain during bowel movements

Other signs of active IBD, especially in patients with Crohn’s disease, include:

IBD can also cause symptoms that affect other parts of the body, such as:

  • joint pain and stiffness
  • eye inflammation
  • skin rash

Many people with IBD have some of these symptoms as the disease progresses, but others do not. In some patients, there may be a lag of several months between the onset of disease activity and the onset of symptoms. Therefore, recurrences of the disease may go unnoticed.

Bowel ultrasound can detect recurrent IBD months to weeks before symptoms appear.

Therefore, proactive disease monitoring is very important if you have IBD. This allows you and your doctor to coordinate treatment and stop disease progression and other negative consequences before pain, impending bowel movements, or other unpleasant symptoms appear.

What are the common reasons for disease recurrence in IBD?

Unfortunately, we do not understand all the reasons that lead to disease recurrence. Some of the causes we know are:

  • Discontinue or skip IBD treatment
  • living with active disease
  • Antibiotics
  • pregnancy
  • stress

How does stress make IBD worse?

We know that there is a two-way connection between the brain and the digestive system called the gut-brain axis. What happens in the gut affects the brain and vice versa. People with active IBD are more likely to experience stress, anxiety, and depression. Conversely, stress, anxiety, and depression can exacerbate her IBD symptoms.

Understanding the gut-brain axis is a top priority for physician researchers at the University of Chicago School of Medicine. By studying this relationship, we hope to find new ways to manage IBD.

Is there a way to know if IBD is getting worse Before disease recurrence?

yes. Regular monitoring helps prevent the disease from becoming active. Proactive monitoring allows you to measure inflammation before you feel symptoms. This allows you to spend more time in remission and less time dealing with IBD symptoms and avoid complications.

Some ways UChicago Medicine IBD specialists proactively monitor for IBD include:

  • stool or blood test measure inflammation
  • endoscopyduring which the doctor inserts a small flexible tube with a camera into the mouth or anus to evaluate the intestines.
  • intestinal ultrasound, the latest IBD monitoring option. It requires no preparation and is performed in the clinic by placing an ultrasound probe in the abdomen.

The Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at the University of Chicago School of Medicine is one of the few IBD centers in the country and the only one in the Midwest that offers bowel ultrasound for IBD patients.

What are the benefits of intestinal ultrasound for patients with IBD?

Intestinal ultrasound is the newest treatment for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. This accurate and reliable technology can detect disease relapses weeks, if not months, before symptoms develop.

A bowel ultrasound can show the effects of IBD treatment in 2 weeks.

A bowel ultrasound can tell if you’re experiencing a relapse by showing you what’s going on in your bowels in real time. We can discuss how to change the

Intestinal ultrasound is also useful. No pre-preparation such as fasting or “gut prep” is required. It is also painless and does not use any radiation. It takes about 20 minutes or less to complete.

How do doctors at UChicago Medicine use bowel ultrasound to monitor IBD?

Your IBD specialist may recommend that you have regular bowel ultrasounds to monitor your disease. By providing a highly accurate picture of your intestines, an intestinal ultrasound can measure the extent of active inflammation. Your doctor will use this information to assess changes since your last visit. can.

Your doctor may also suggest that you have a bowel ultrasound after starting a new treatment to see how your body is responding. You can see how effective it is. So if treatment fails to control the inflammation, doctors can quickly adjust the care plan.

How can I get a bowel ultrasound?

An IBD specialist at UChicago Medicine can determine if an intestinal ultrasound is beneficial. In that case, one of her specially trained gastroenterologists can perform an intestinal ultrasound during a routine clinic visit.

Your doctor will apply a gel to your abdomen and use a small probe to look inside your intestines during surgery. Results are immediate, so you can discuss with your doctor whether changing your treatment plan will improve your symptoms.

By offering this advanced technology at UChicago Medicine, our goal is to help you reach remission sooner and stay in remission.



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