Genetics of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Genetics of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

What is IBD?

Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a group of disorder that involves prolonged and relapse inflammation of digestive tract. It can occur anywhere from top to tail of digestive tract. Two major types of IBD are: Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Inflammation anywhere in digestive tract can disturb normal process. IBD can be very painful and disruptive, and life threatening in several cases. Untreated inflammation causes immense pain and can escalate other medical complications if left untreated.

Immune system plays a very major role in IBD. When there is pathogenic infection in digestive tract immune system generates response which results in inflammation, which subsides in some time. While people with IBD this inflammation can happen even if there is no infection, which means immune system its own host or body. Inflammation in IBD can remain for months or years even after infection is gone.

Symptoms and risk factors for IBD

Symptoms of IBD are Diarrhea, bloating, stomach pain with cramps, blood in stool, fever and fatigue, weight loss and anemia that delays growth or development in children. In some rare cases ulcers are also observed in anus area. Symptoms of disease may vary from mild to severe depending upon degree of inflammation. IBD can occur as period of active illness with a phase of remission.

Risk factors for IBD are age (most of them develops disease by 30's but no symptoms appear till 50's or 60's), smoking habits, high fat and low fiber diet, family history of IBD and consumption of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.

Genetics of IBD

Genetics of IBD is complex; as genetic factors contribute in small part to disease pathogenesis confirms the important role of microbial and environmental factors. Inheritance of some specific genes also decides a lot about type of IBD individual may encounter in lifetime. IBD may not be an uncommon condition; one or more family member will show up with symptoms as it is inherited.

With DNA or genetic testing predisposition to IBD can be decoded that can give a clear picture about risk an individual I lifetime. With such high risk in genetic reports lifestyle choice matters the most. Drinking plenty of fluids helps to compensate dehydration. Avoiding dairy products and stressful situations also improves symptoms. Additional vitamin supplements can make up for nutritional deficiencies.

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