Author’s Bio: Ria Ellendula is an incoming college freshman who is passionate about public health and healthcare policy.

Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) is a collective group of intestinal disorders that cause inflammation in the digestive system, which consists of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, etc.
Inflammation in this area can hinder the processes of the digestive system in a painful manner.

The physical processes that characterize IBD include:
  • Slowed or spastic movements of the colon (causing painful cramps)
  • Celiac disease symptoms (can damage the intestines)
  • Abnormal serotonin levels in colon
Types of IBD
Crohn’s Disease is a type of inflammatory Bowel Disease that takes place in the colon and small intestine. It can affect parts of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract (ranging from the mouth to the anus).

This disease can be anywhere from mild to life-threatening and can also produce flares and complications. Common symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Cramps
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Bloody stool
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Frequent bowel movements

More serious symptoms include:
  • Perianal Fistula (causes pain and drainage in anus)
  • Shortness of breath caused by anemia
  • Joint or skin inflammation
  • Ulcers (occur anywhere from mouth to anus)

Ulcerative Colitis 

Ulcerative Colitis is another type of inflammatory bowel disease that takes place in the large intestine or colon. It produces ulcers in the lining of the large intestine and causes irritation and inflammation.

This form of IBD happens when the immune system mistakes food entering the digestive tract for an “invader.” Rather than targeting viruses or foreign bacteria, the immune system misinterprets food, good gut bacteria, and the cells that line your colon for intruders, which causes inflammation and ulcers.

Types of Ulcerative Colitis include:  
  • Ulcerative proctitis: This is a mild form of Ulcerative Colitis, and it occurs in the rectum, which is closest to your anus.Rectal bleeding is a sign of this form.
  • Proctosigmoiditis: This form also occurs in your rectum and the lower end of your colon. It causes bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, pain, and potentially constipation.
  • Left-sided colitis: This form causes cramps on the left side of the belly. It will cause abnormal weight loss and bloody diarrhea. It can also lead to rectal inflammation on the left-side of your colon.
  • Pancolitis: This can affect your entire colon, leading to severe episodes of stomach cramps, pain, weight loss, bloody diarrhea, etc.
  • Acute severe ulcerative colitis: This is a rare form of Ulcerative Colitis that affects the entire colon, causing severe pain, heavy diarrhea, bleeding, and a fever.

Symptoms include:  
  • Stomach cramps
  • Sudden bowel movements
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Joint pain
  • Canker sores
  • Anemia

IBD Causes

Although the exact cause of Irritable Bowel Disease is unknown, it is known to occur primarily in those with a sensitive colon or immune system. It can also be caused by bacterial infections in the gastrointestinal tract. Other factors can be indicative of Irritable Bowel Disease, such as:

  • Family history and genetics
  • Immune system health
  • Smoking
  • Ethnicity
  • Age
  • Environmental Factors
  • Gender

IBD Symptoms

Symptoms of IBD vary depending on the person and the specific factors concerning the onset of the disease. The location and severity of the inflammation play a large role in the symptoms that one may experience. They may include:
  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding Ulcers
  • Stomach Pain (including cramps and bloating)
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Weight loss and anemia

Those who have Crohn’s disease may also get canker sores in their mouths. Ulcers may also appear in the genital area and the anus. IBD also has a high correlation with problems outside the digestive tract, such as eye inflammation, skin disorders, and arthritis.

Due to its impact on the digestive system, IBD can also lead to other complications, such as:
  • Malnutrition (as a result of weight loss)
  • Fistulas (tunnels that go through the bowel wall and create a hole through different parts of the digestive system)
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Colon cancer

IBS Treatments


Most medications for IBD are prescription-only. There are a variety of drugs that your doctor may subscribe, including:

  • Antibiotics: Certain antibiotics focus on healing your large intestine 
  • Aminosalicylates: The 5-aminosalicylic acid in these drugs works to fight inflammation and control the symptoms. 
  • Corticosteroids (anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • Immunomodulators: Work to stop immune system attacks on the colon
  • Biologics
  • Loperamide: Aims to slow/stop diarrhea

Home Remedies

Many non-medicinal actions can be taken to reduce the severity of IBD symptoms. These actions include:
  • Reducing caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco intake
  • Avoiding deep-fried or spicy foods
  • Maintaining a regular exercise schedule
  • Eating smaller meals
  • Minimizing stressful activities
  • Taking probiotics (relieves gas and bloating)

In addition to these approaches, one main thing that people can do to counter Irritable Bowel Disease is to change their diet. There are many dietary adjustments that can be made to do this.

Foods to Avoid:
  • Dairy-rich foods
  • Fried foods
  • Indigestible sugars
  • Beans

Foods to eat:
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Rice
  • Grains
  • Certain spices and herb

Online Doctor Consultation For Irritable Bowel Disease

If you or someone in your family have concerns about irritable bowel disease, please contact and seek help from our doctors online. At Home Urgent Care provides telehealth services so you can safely and confidently keep your health in check with our primary and urgent care services and get treatment online. Book an online doctor appointment today with our health care experts available at your convenience 365 days a year and get your prescription/medication available online.

Book an Appointment

Online Doctor Appointment - At Home Urgent Care

Step 1

Call or Book your online Doctor Visit

Online Doctor Appointment - At Home Urgent Care

Step 2

Talk to a doctor over the Phone/ Tablet

Online Doctor Appointment - At Home Urgent Care

Step 3

If needed pick up your medication at the pharmacy