Risk Factors for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease occurs when a person’s digestive tract, or at least a part of it, is suffering from inflammation. There are two common types of IBD, namely Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Their difference lies on where the inflammation is taking place. For Crohn’s disease, the inflammation is in the lining of the digestive tract, either in the large intestine, small intestine, or both. For ulcerative colitis, the inflammation is in the inner most lining of the large intestine and rectum, and is often characterized with sores or ulcers.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis generally have the same symptoms, but they may vary from person to person depending on the location and severity of the inflammation. The website of GastroCare LI has enumerated some of the most common symptoms for the two classic inflammatory bowel diseases:

  • Abdominal cramps or pain
  • Bloody stool
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Unexplained weight loss

IBD can be sustained because of a variety of factors, including environmental and genetic aspects that may result into negative immune system responses and inflammation. Below are some of the believed risk factors for inflammatory bowel diseases.

Age

Everybody can be at risk of IBD at any age, but those who are 35 and above are believed to be more likely to sustain the disease.

Diet

Excessive consumption of high protein from meat and fish has also been linked to IBD development, and it is believed to be because of the higher amounts of Sulphur containing amino acids on meat and fish protein compared to plant protein.

Family History

Those who have family members who have acquired the disease are more likely to acquire it as well. But this does not necessarily mean that those who do not have such family members are entirely risk-free.

Geographical Location

Since meat and processed food have been proven to be linked to IBD development, countries who rely on these meals more are more likely to develop IBD compared to others. These countries are typically industrialized.

Smoking

Smokers are also at risk of IBD, particularly Crohn’s disease. Smoking is also known to aggravate the symptoms of IBD.

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