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Crohn's / IBD

Proctosigmoiditis: Everything you need to know

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Proctosigmoiditis is a type of ulcerative colitis typically treated with different medicines including anti-inflammatory medicines.

What causes proctosigmoiditis is unknown, but may be linked to genetic and environmental factors.

Keep on reading to learn more about possible causes, risk factors and proctosigmoiditis remedies.

Causes

proctosigmoiditis woman
Genetic and environmental factors could contribute to the risk of proctosigmoiditis in a person.

Proctosigmoiditis, an inflammatory bowel disease, is a type of ulcerative colitis. Symptoms are caused by inflammation of the large intestines. What causes it inflammation is not clear but a number of factors may play a role.

An overactive immune system, for example, can cause ulcerative colitis. In some individuals, some bacterial strains can mistakenly cause the immune system to attack the large intestine. It causes inflammation, and can lead to proctosigmoiditis symptoms.

Ulcerative colitis often tends to run for families, so another possible reason why proctosigmoiditis may develop is the genes of an individual.

Environmental factors can also increase the risk of proctosigmoiditis, including:

  • oral contraceptives
  • antibiotic medications
  • high fat diet.

Treatment

Although there is no remedy for the disease, the symptoms may be controlled. Proctosigmoiditis therapies usually include medicine, surgery or a combination of both.

Many people with proctosigmoiditis will need to take medication for their lifetime to control the symptoms and prevent serious complications.

While there is currently no cure for the disease, medications help reduce proctosigmoiditis symptoms, prevent serious complications and improve quality of life.

Doctors may prescribe five types of medications:

  • Aminosalicylates: These are anti-inflammatory drugs, such as mesalamine. They come in both topical and oral forms. Unless symptoms are extensive when a doctor first diagnoses the condition, people usually try topical forms first. Typically, these are the first type of medication prescribed for proctosigmoiditis.
  • Corticosteroids: Doctors may also prescribe these drugs in either topical or oral forms to treat or prevent inflammation if necessary.
  • Immunomodulators: This is a class of drugs that reduces the activity of the immune system, such as methotrexate. Immunomodulators are only necessary if other medications are not working.
  • Biologics: These are a newer class of drugs that target tumor necrosis factor, a protein involved in inflammation. Examples of biologics include golimumab and infliximab.
  • Other medications: Other medications may occasionally be necessary to deal with specific symptoms or complications, such as antibiotics for treating infections.

There are different ways to take these medicines, which can depend on the symptoms location and severity.

Many medications, for example, come in the form of an enema, which injects the drug into a liquid or foam form through an applicator that an individual implants into the rectum. In other situations, it might be through the mouth or through a suppository.

Bowel surgery is an choice in more severe cases of proctosigmoiditis. This may include completely removing the last portion of the colon (large intestine) and the rectum or big intestine.

Changes in lifestyle can help people with proctosigmoiditis, too. This can include regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding smoking tobacco and reducing stress.

Possible complications

People with proctosigmoiditis might encounter complications including:

  • Rectal bleeding: This occurs when ulcers in the rectum open up, causing bleeding.
  • Anemia: Blood loss from rectal bleeding can lead to anemia. This is a condition in which the body lacks enough red blood cells to function normally.
  • Dehydration: The large intestines may become unable to absorb fluids properly, which can cause dehydration.
  • Malabsorption and nutrient deficiencies: The large intestines can also stop fully absorbing nutrients. Over time, this can lead to nutrient deficiencies.
  • Megacolon: This is where inflammation reaches deeper layers of the large intestines. It can be life threatening and require immediate treatment.
  • Cancer: People with ulcerative colitis may be more likely to develop colon cancer. Several studies show that the risk increases over time. For example, someone with the condition for 10 years has around a 2% greater risk, but after 30 years, it increases to around 18%.

Risk factors

Possible risk factors for proctosigmoiditis include:

  • having a family history of inflammatory bowel disease
  • smoking
  • being between 15–30 years old or over 60 years
  • being of Ashkenazi Jewish descent

When to see a doctor

If a person is having diarrhea that lasts longer than a few days, it is worth seeing a doctor. This is especially important when there is diarrhea with bleeding, fever or severe pain in the stomachs.

A medical assessment will involve a detailed discussion of a person’s medical history, family history, symptoms and physical examination.

A colonoscopy would likely involve additional examination. This involves feeding into the large intestines through a long, flexible camera through the rectum. Also, doctors may suggest other tests, such as blood or stubble tests.

Summary

Proctosigmoiditis is a type of ulcerative colitis that affects the large intestines and the rectum.

It can be the result of an overactive immune system, genetics or factors in the environment. Individuals with a family history of the disease face an increased risk of developing it themselves.

Although it is a lifelong condition, there are several types of medication available to treat the symptoms. Surgery may be necessary in the more severe cases.

Complications can range from rectal bleeding to a higher risk of colon cancer, so they should talk to a doctor if a person suspects they may have the condition.

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Crohn's / IBD

Is there a link between IBD and microplastics?

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microplastics
A recent study investigates the relationship between microplastics and IBD.

In a recent small-scale investigation, researchers discovered a link between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and higher levels of microplastics in feces. The results were published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

The study, however, does not prove that microplastics cause IBD. More research is needed to confirm the findings and then seek an explanation for the link.

IBD explained

IBD is a broad term that refers to a variety of gastrointestinal disorders marked by inflammation. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two most frequent kinds.

Diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss, abdominal pain, and exhaustion are all symptoms of IBD.

Researchers aren’t sure what causes IBD, but they believe it starts when a person who is genetically predisposed to the disease is exposed to a specific trigger. More research is needed to determine how important environmental triggers are.

IBD and microplastics

The researchers wanted to discover if there was a link between microplastics and IBD in this new study. Microplastics are present in people’s bodies throughout their lives, yet the health repercussions are unknown.

“We urgently need to know more about the health consequences of microplastics since they are everywhere—including in our drinking water,” says Dr. Maria Neira, WHO director of Public Health, Environment, and Social Determinants of Health.

“Microplastics in drinking water do not appear to constitute a health danger at current levels, based on the limited knowledge we have.” However, we need to learn more. We must also halt the global surge of plastic pollution.”

The current study’s corresponding author is Dr. Yan Zhang. He works at Nanjing University’s School of Environment’s State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, where he previously discovered that microplastics accumulate in the liver, kidney, and intestine in animal models.

He also discovered that the particle size of the microplastics had a significant impact on the accumulation.

“Compelling evidence suggests that microplastics primarily collect in the guts of many species and induce intestinal inflammation and metabolic disturbance,” the researcher told Medical News Today. “Microplastics will inevitably come into contact with humans.”

“Estimating the exposure levels and loads of microplastics in people is crucial for assessing the health risk of microplastics.” However, accurate evidence on the effects of microplastics on humans is still unavailable. Furthermore, the actual health danger of human exposure to microplastics has long been a source of worry.

Fecal samples

Because microplastics are routinely ingested through the gut, the researchers wanted to see if there was a link between microplastics and IBD.

They did this by examining fecal samples from study participants. The researchers gathered 52 persons with IBD and 50 people who were otherwise healthy but did not have IBD.

The participants answered questions on the foods and beverages they consume, their working and living conditions over the past year, the state of their IBD, and their demographic characteristics on a questionnaire.

The scientists then looked at the feces samples to see how much and what kind of microplastics were present.

Microplastics linked to IBD

They discovered that those with IBD had considerably more microplastic in their stools than those who were healthy.

Further research revealed a link between the severity of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease and the number of microplastics present.

The researchers also discovered that persons who had more microplastic in their stool samples drank more bottled water, ate more takeout food, and were exposed to more dust where they lived or worked.

“For the first time, this study reveals that there is a significant difference in the concentration of microplastics in feces from IBD patients and healthy people. Our study also indicates that the characteristics of fecal microplastics are useful to estimate the gut exposure of microplastics.”

– Dr. Yan Zhang

“It’s difficult to say whether microplastics play a role in the development of IBD because it’s a complex systemic disease with an unknown etiology.” People with IBD are more likely to retain microplastics, we suspect.”

The study had flaws as well, the most significant of which was its small size. Before scientists can reach more solid findings, they must perform much larger investigations.

“The concentration of [microplastics] in feces found in this study cannot directly match the concentration of [microplastics] in the gastrointestinal system or in the human body,” the study authors write.

To put it another way, just though people with IBD excrete more microplastic doesn’t mean they have more microplastic in their bodies.

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Crohn's / IBD

Colitis: What you need to know

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Colitis is an inflammation of the colon’s lining. Colitis can be caused by a variety of causes. A person suffering from colitis will have abdominal pain, discomfort, and diarrhea.

Colitis people may have either modest chronic pain or acute and abrupt pain. There are various forms of colitis, and many of them have symptoms that overlap.

This page discusses colitis, its various kinds, causes, symptoms, and treatments.

What is colitis?

colitis

Colitis is an inflammation of the lining of the colon. Inflammation of the large intestine can occur for a variety of reasons. Infection, for example, is one of the most common causes.

The two most common kinds of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

This condition primarily affects people between the ages of 15 and 35, with a second peak occurring in people between the ages of 60 and 70.

Colitis is frequently chronic, and there is no cure. A person can, however, receive therapy for the condition and effectively manage it.

Types of colitis

Colitis is classified into several types. These are some examples:

  • ulcerative colitis
  • pseudomembranous colitis
  • microscopic colitis
  • ischemic colitis
  • cytomegalovirus colitis
  • allergic colitis in infants

Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition that causes inflammation of the lining of the large intestine (the colon or large bowel) and the rectum.

Small sores or ulcers can form on the colon’s lining, causing it to bleed and create pus.

Symptoms

Ulcerative colitis symptoms may include:

  • bleeding from the rectum
  • sores on the skin
  • fatigue
  • blood and pus in the stool
  • delayed growth in children
  • pain in the abdomen
  • diarrhea
  • anemia
  • weight loss
  • joint pain

Causes

Doctors classify ulcerative colitis as an autoimmune condition.

According to research, an unusual immune response occurs. This response is produced by a bacterial contact in the colon and the body’s immune system, which subsequently destroys the colon’s tissue. Inflammation causes from this attack.

It is unclear what causes the immune system to act in this manner. Experts believe that a number of factors, including genetics and environmental circumstances, may play a role.

Treatment

Medication, such as the following, may be prescribed as part of the treatment.

  • aminosalicylates
  • biologic therapies, such as infliximab (Remicade)
  • corticosteroids
  • immunosuppressants

Flare-ups are normally treatable at home, but severe flare-ups may necessitate hospitalization.

In severe flares, a person may require surgery to remove parts of their colon.

Pseudomembranous colitis

The colon becomes inflamed in pseudomembranous colitis due to an overgrowth of the bacteria Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile). This can happen if a person has a weaker immune system or if there is an imbalance in gut bacteria as a result of recent antibiotic treatment.

Symptoms

Pseudomembranous colitis symptoms include:

  • fever
  • bloody stools
  • urge to have a bowel movement
  • frequent watery diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps

Causes

An overgrowth of C. difficile bacteria is frequently caused by a disruption in normal gut flora after a course of antibiotics. Certain strains of C. difficile are drug resistant, have the ability to overgrow, and can cause inflammation and bleeding.

Treatment

A person with this condition must discontinue use of any drugs that are causing the problem. Vancomycin or fidaxomicin, for example, may be prescribed by a doctor (Dificid).

The individual may also be given intravenous (IV) fluids. Doctors may need to conduct a colectomy in severe situations.

Fecal microbiota transplant is a novel therapy option for reoccurring illnesses.

Microscopic colitis

Microscopic colitis is a condition in which the immune system fails, resulting in inflammation of the colon lining.

The condition can affect people of any age, but it is more common in women and older adults.

Symptoms

Symptoms could include:

  • urgent need to have bowel movement
  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • cramping and pain in the abdomen
  • persistent watery diarrhea
  • nighttime diarrhea
  • bloating and gas

Causes

The exact cause of microscopic colitis is unknown, but experts suspect it is caused by a combination of genetics and unusual immune system responses.

Some medications might cause microscopic colitis, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about what you ‘re taking.

The following medications may cause this type of colitis:

Treatment

For microscopic colitis, doctors may give the following medications:

  • antidiarrheal medications
  • aminosalicylates
  • immunosuppressants
  • corticosteroids
  • biologics
  • bile acid binders

Ischemic colitis

Ischemic colitis is caused by a reduction in colon blood flow.

It’s usually associated with older people who have underlying cardiovascular problems, according to experts. Young people, on the other hand, can develop the condition.

Symptoms

Among the signs and symptoms are:

  • tender stomach
  • pain after eating
  • an urgent need for a bowel movement
  • pain and cramping, typically on the left side of the abdomen
  • nausea
  • bloody diarrhea
  • vomiting

Causes

Reduced blood flow to the colon causes ischemic colitis. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including hardened arteries in people suffering from peripheral vascular disease or coronary artery disease.

Reduced blood flow can be caused by a variety of circumstances, including:

  • conditions that affect the blood, such as anemia
  • use of methamphetamines or cocaine
  • bowel obstructions due to hernias, tumors, or scar tissue
  • surgical procedures that involve the colon, heart, or blood vessels
  • low blood pressure
  • blood clots in the arteries that lead to the colon

Treatment

Ischemic colitis treatment is determined on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, a doctor may prescribe:

  • medication to relieve pain
  • broad-spectrum antibiotics to prevent infection
  • IV fluid to prevent dehydration

A doctor may also address any underlying disorders that are causing the condition. They may advise against taking drugs that cause blood vessel narrowing.

A doctor will treat the condition as an emergency if it is severe or acute. They could:

  • prescribe medications to widen narrowed arteries or treat blood clots
  • recommend surgery

Approximately 20% of people with ischemic colitis require surgery.

Cytomegalovirus colitis

The human herpesvirus family comprises cytomegalovirus (CMV) colitis.

CMV colitis is particularly common in people who are immunocompromised or have a weakened immune system. It can, however, occur in healthy people who do not have a compromised immune system. The average age of these people is 68 years

Symptoms

CMV colitis may not cause any symptoms in some people, or it may be a self-limited disease that goes away on its own.

Other people with CMV colitis, on the other hand, may experience nonspecific symptoms such as:

  • fever
  • rectal bleeding
  • diarrhea
  • weight loss
  • abdominal pain

Causes

CMV colitis is particularly common in people who are immunocompromised, such as those who have:

Further study has discovered a number of risk factors for CMV colitis in people who have normal immune responses, generally known as immunocompetent people. These are some of the risk factors:

  • renal diseases
  • people on hemodialysis
  • neurological disorders
  • people in an intensive care unit

Treatment

Antiviral medications may not be necessary for the majority of people with CMV colitis who are immunocompetent.

Doctors may consider antiviral medication in immunocompetent people based on their age and medical history. Antiviral medicines may be used to treat CMV colitis, but more research is needed to see if they are successful.

Allergic colitis in infants

When a baby’s immune system overreacts to the proteins in cow’s milk, allergic colitis can develop. Other allergies, such as soy, can cause the same reaction. Inflammation of the colon occurs as a result of this reaction.

Allergic colitis affects approximately 2%–3% of infants.

Symptoms

Some babies are far more sensitive to milk protein than others, resulting in more severe symptoms.

Allergic colitis can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • flecks or streaks of blood in the stool
  • difficulty consoling
  • diarrhea and vomiting
  • other signs of allergies, such as nasal congestion or eczema
  • irritability
  • gassiness
  • mucus in the stools

A baby’s first year of life includes a time of reflux, or spitting up of food. Reflux may be a problem for babies with allergic colitis.

Causes

Allergic colitis is caused by the mother’s immune system changing throughout pregnancy, as well as the immaturity of the baby’s immune system. It is unknown, however, why some babies have the condition while others do not.

Allergy colitis appears to be more common in babies with a family history of food allergies, asthma, or environmental allergies.

Treatment

When an infant gets blood in their stool, it is usually due to a milk allergy, which may be treated.

Doctors may place breastfeeding people on a dairy-free diet. Breast milk can take up to 72 hours to become milk protein-free. People can also feed their babies a hypoallergenic formula.

Reflux may improve as a result of treating colitis, although some reflux may not be related to the allergic process.

Conclusion

Colitis is a condition in which the lining of the colon or large intestine becomes inflamed. The colon’s lining can become inflamed for a variety of reasons. Infection is the most common cause of colitis. Chronic colitis is most commonly caused by inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

The symptoms of several types of colitis overlap. Inflammation of the intestinal lining is present in all forms of colitis.

Depending on the type and severity of colitis, many treatments are available.

Sources:

  • https://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/a/allergic-colitis
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK541037/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK542231/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4442720/
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/colitis
  • https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/17562848211023399
  • https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/66/7/e1/4855916?login=true
  • https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/microscopic-colitis
  • https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/what-is-ulcerative-colitis/overview
  • https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/microscopic-colitis/symptoms-causes
  • https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/microscopic-colitis/treatment
  • https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/imj.13027
  • https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/what-is-ulcerative-colitis/treatment-options

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Colorectal Cancer

What you should know about the IBS and colon cancer connection

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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and colon cancer share some symptoms in common, however IBS does not put a person at an increased risk of colon cancer.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition that causes stomach discomfort and other symptoms. The big intestine, often known as the colon, is affected by this condition.

Colon cancer affects the same region as IBS, and in some people, it can cause many of the same symptoms.

The similarities and differences between IBS and colon cancer symptoms are discussed in this article.

Colon cancer symptoms

Colon cancer symptoms

Symptoms of colon cancer may not always be caused immediately. The onset of symptoms might take several years. Several illnesses, according to the American Cancer Society, can cause symptoms that are similar to colon cancer and should be checked out during diagnosis.

According to the article, the following are some of the most prevalent symptoms of colon cancer:

  • unexplained weight loss
  • weakness or fatigue
  • rectal bleeding bright red blood
  • dark brown or black blood in stool
  • abdominal pain or cramping
  • change in bowel habits, including a narrowing of the stool, diarrhea, or constipation that lasts for more than just a few days
  • feeling a need to pass a bowel movement without relief

IBS symptoms 

One or more symptoms may be present in people who have IBS. The following are some of the most prevalent IBS symptoms:

  • abdominal pain, often related to bowel movements
  • changes in bowel movements, which can include constipation, diarrhea, or possibly both

Around the time of their period, those who were designated female at birth may notice an increase in the severity of their symptoms.

IBS can also cause the following symptoms:

  • bloating
  • feeling as though a bowel movement is not finished
  • whitish mucus in stool

Despite the fact that IBS might be uncomfortable, it does not cause additional gastrointestinal (GI) tract issues.

Comparison table of symptoms 

Although IBS and colon cancer have certain symptoms, there are several important distinctions to be aware of. The table below lists both colon cancer and IBS symptoms, as well as symptoms specific to each condition.

SymptomColon cancerIBS
diarrheaXX
excess gas or bloatingXX
pain or cramps in abdomen associated with bowel movementsXX
constipationXX
feeling of incomplete bowel movementXX
changes in bowel movements and habits lasting more than a few daysXX
unexplained weight lossX
bleeding from rectumX
fatigueX
stool appears narrowX
weaknessX
dark stool or blood in stoolX
a whitish mucus appears in stoolX

Connection between IBS and colon cancer

IBS can cause stomach pain and discomfort. It does not, however, raise the risk of colon cancer since it does not cause inflammation or other harm to the GI tract.

Researchers found similar results in a 2010 trial analysis of over 900 people. They discovered that people with suspected IBS had the same risk of cancer as those who had normal bowel movements.

Diagnosis

To diagnose IBS, a doctor may not need to do diagnostic tests. If they suspect anything more severe, such as colon cancer, they may arrange testing.

A person’s doctor will almost certainly undertake a physical examination and ask numerous questions regarding their:

  • medical history
  • medications
  • current symptoms
  • family history of bowel issues

A doctor must generally assess a person’s symptoms to diagnose IBS, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). A doctor may diagnose IBS if a person has two or more of the following symptoms in addition to stomach pain:

  • frequency of bowel movements change
  • changes in stool appearance
  • pain related to bowel movements

A doctor may also consider the length of time that symptoms have been present. According to the NIDDK, a clinician can diagnose IBS if symptoms have been present for at least 6 months and occur at least once a week for at least 3 months.

A doctor would most likely inquire about any other possible symptoms during an initial examination and inquiry. Blood in the stool, rectal bleeding, weight loss, or anemia might all be signs of a more serious condition.

If a doctor feels that another condition is causing the symptoms, extra diagnostic testing will almost certainly be ordered. They may request the following tests:

  • biopsy
  • protein and gene testing
  • ultrasound
  • colonoscopy
  • CT or CAT scan

Making a medical appointment

Pain, constipation, and other symptoms that occur on a regular basis might not always need a trip to the doctor. However, if symptoms persist or worsen, a person should consult a medical expert.

A doctor will likely examine a patient’s age, general health, family history of colon cancer, and other cancer risk factors. They may recommend a CT scan or a colonoscopy if they suspect a person’s symptoms are cancer-related.

Because the symptoms of IBS and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are so similar, a doctor will most likely seek to rule out IBD. IBD is an inflammatory disease that causes protracted periods of inflammation, putting a person at a higher risk of developing cancer. Colon cancer is a leading cause of death in the United States.

Conclusion

The symptoms of IBS and colon cancer are quite similar. However, a person with colon cancer may have unexplained weight loss, blood in their stool, or rectum hemorrhage, which are not common in IBS.

Despite having comparable symptoms, IBS does not increase the risk of colon cancer. If a person has chronic IBS symptoms, they should consult with their doctor to discover the actual cause of the symptoms and treatment options.

Sources:

  • https://journals.lww.com/ajg/Abstract/2010/04000/The_Yield_of_Colonoscopy_in_Patients_With.27.aspx
  • https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome/diagnosis
  • https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/signs-and-symptoms-of-colon-cancer.html
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/ibs-vs-colon-cancer
  • https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome/symptoms-causes

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