Inflammatory bowel disease
Signs and Symptoms
1. Persistent, severe diarrhea.
2. Abdominal pain (often in the lower-rights side of the abdomen; in ulcerative colitis, in the left side).
3. Bloody stools or rectal bleeding.
4. Skin rashes.
5. Arthritis-like pains in the joints.
What to do now
1. If you have repeated bouts of diarrhea, be very careful not let yourself get dehydrated.
2. In addition, your doctor may recommend you to maintain a balanced diet. Because diarrhea and poor digestion rob the body of essential fluids and nutrients, good nutrition is crucial.
3. Avoid foods that irritate the colon. To check for sensitivities, avoid a suspected food for 10 to 30 days; then try it. If your symptoms flare up, eliminate the food from your diet. (Common irritants are spicy or high-fiber foods, diary products, eggs, and wheat.)
4. Avoid alcohol.
5. Avoid aspirin.
6. Because you may be at greater risk of colon cancer, so keep regular contact with your doctor.
When to call a doctor
1. If you have a sudden attack of abdominal pain, fever, and the urge to pass gas or to have a bowel movement. You may be in the initial stage or appendicitis.
2. If you have rectal bleeding with clots of blood in your stool; this could indicate a severe stage of colitis.
3. If diarrhea lasts more than 48 hours. You may be at risk of dehydration.
4. If you have the most common symptoms of IBD.
How to prevent it
There is no known way to prevent ulcerative colitis. Avoiding certain foods, however, may help minimize irritation to the colon.