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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Irritable Bowel disease is a condition that affects nearly 20% of the adult American population. While most of the time, the causes for Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are mild, in rare cases, it may be indicative of ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. It is noticed that women are more prone to develop IBS than men, leading to the belief that hormonal changes may have a bearing on the condition. IBS involves a functional disorder of the large intestine. It usually has no structural or biochemical causes.


Typical symptoms that affect persons suffering from irritable bowel syndrome are gas (flatulence), bloating and mucus/blood in stool. Constipation or diarrhea is also noticed. The patient suffers from cramps. Other symptoms can range from fever and nausea to weight loss and vomiting of bile. In most cases of irritable bowel syndrome, the symptoms are mild. But in chronic cases of IBS, the symptoms are persistent and can affect the quality of the life of the patient. It is noticed that stress, medications, certain foods or stimuli may trigger the IBS symptoms. Some persons notice worsening of symptoms on consumption of milk, alcohol, chocolates or dairy products. Gastroenteritis can trigger an attack of irritable bowel syndrome.


A gastroenterologist can help you diagnose and treat this condition with dietary changes and medication. Stool studies, functional assessment of the GI tract and colonoscopy can aid in screening for IBS. Colonoscopy involves examination of the colon with a small flexible tube. This helps to rule out ulcerative colitis or colorectal cancer. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as sulfasalazine and antibiotics such as metronidazole can attack the germs in the intestine. Anti-diarrheal medication, laxatives or painkillers can provide relief from symptoms of irritable bowel disease. Dietary changes that are likely to be prescribed include eating at regular times, drinking plenty of water, restricting fatty foods and reducing dairy products. Moderate exercise is also helpful. Gradual increase in fiber content in the diet provides relief for many. Fiber supplements are sometimes prescribed. Ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease must be treated differently.

Iritis

Iritis is an eye condition that is caused by the inflammation in the iris of the eye. Iris is a circular, colored, front portion of the eye, surrounding the dark pupil. Iris is filled with muscular fibers which regulate the amount of light entering the pupil. It allows the pupil to contract in bright light and enlarges it in dim light. When this iris becomes inflamed, it is termed as iritis or anterior uveitis, whereas the inflammation at the back of the eye is called posterior uveitis. Iritis causes severe pain, light sensitivity and may even lead to sight loss on rare occasions.


What causes iritis ?

Iritis can occur in one or both the eyes. The causes to iritis can be traumatic or non traumatic. Iritis caused by the trauma or injury to the eye is called traumatic iritis. Infections such as shingles or syphilis can lead to iritis or uveitis. Iritis may also occur due to certain autoimmune diseases present in the body like Ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, irritable bowel disease and tuberculosis. This condition is known as Non traumatic iritis. In most cases, it becomes difficult to find the cause for iritis.


Symptoms of iritis

The symptoms of the iritis surface suddenly and initially it affects one eye. Some of the symptoms of iritis are mentioned below:

  • Redness in the eye, especially adjacent to the iris
  • Deep eye pain, becomes worse when exposed to the light
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurred vision
  • Irregularly shaped pupil
  • Headache

Treating iritis

Iritis, if left untreated, may give rise to complications such as cataract, glaucoma, retinal detachment and vision loss. Hence it is advisable to seek medical help on finding any of the symptoms. Firstly, the ophthalmologist makes a complete note of your medical history and conducts a thorough eye examination. A slit light is focused on the affected eye to have a better view of the structure and any signs of inflammation. Since iritis is associated with some autoimmune diseases, your doctor may advise few tests to find out the exact cause.

Your eye doctor will prescribe dilating eye drops - Cycloplegics to dilate your pupil and relieve you of the pain. These drops also prevent the scarring of the pupil. Patients complaining of sensitivity to light will be given dark glasses. Steroid eye drops and antibiotics also may be given to reduce the inflammation. These drops settle the cell membrane and regulate the movement of the white blood cells in your eye. If the problem persists or worsens you may be given oral steroids, injections and other anti inflammatory drugs.

Normally, traumatic iritis disappears with proper and timely treatment, but, chances of recurring cannot be ruled out in case of non-traumatic iritis. In such cases, the relapse of iritis depends upon how well the underlying causes are diagnosed and treated.


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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: December 13, 2019