Your intestines can succumb to several diseases that leave them inflamed and malfunctioning. The umbrella term for these diseases is “inflammatory bowel disease.” This includes both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. According to the Cleveland Clinic, about 3 million people are affected by inflammatory bowel disease, and it’s most common among those between the ages of 15 and 30.
These gastrointestinal diseases affect how the bowel functions and moves waste through; therefore, you can experience symptoms like abdominal cramps, diarrhea, bloating, gas, and upset stomach, in addition to painful pooping, according to WebMD. Some individuals can also experience fevers, unexplained weight loss, and lack of appetite. Many times, these chronic diseases flare up and then return to normal. While the cause of inflammatory bowel disease is still heavily discussed, your immune system, genetic factors, and environmental triggers may play a role.
Treating your condition depends on the specific disease and severity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, medications like corticosteroids and biologics are common. It might also be necessary to undergo surgery in severe cases. For example, diet might be the first defense against a disorder like Crohn’s disease by limiting spicy foods and eating smaller amounts. Try fiber supplements before taking medications to quiet the immune system’s overreaction.