IBD can develop due to canned foods and bottled beverages

11:52 am Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India

Despite 12 lakh cases of this condition annually in India, there is a lack of awareness

New Delhi, 08 July 2018: Canned foods packaged in plastic containers can increase the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), an intestinal disorder that causes prolonged inflammation of the digestive tract, reveals a new study. Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine disrupting chemical used in consumer products such as water bottles, containers to store food and beverages among others and is known to affect the crucial stages of development.

IBD is an umbrella term for two diseases namely Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease. The incidence of UC is very high in India when compared to Crohn’s disease. While Crohn’s can affect any part of the digestive system, UC affects only the rectum and the colon.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “IBD is a painful and debilitating condition which if left undetected and untreated, can lead to serious complications such as fistula intestinal obstruction, bowel dysfunction, and even colon cancer. UC causes long-lasting inflammation in a part of the digestive tract. Crohn’s disease, on the other hand, causes inflammation anywhere along the lining of the digestive tract, spreading deep into affected tissues eventually. This further causes abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, and even malnutrition. Surgery may be required in those with Crohn’s disease to remove a damaged or diseased part of the intestine. Sometimes, the entire large intestine is removed, with or without the rectum.”

Some symptoms of inflammation of the intestinal tract include diarrhea, rectal bleeding, urgent need to move bowels, abdominal cramps and pain, sensation of incomplete evacuation, and constipation (which can lead to bowel obstruction). There could also be other general symptoms such as fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, and loss of normal menstrual cycle.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor of IJCP, said, “IBD is generally treated with anti-inflammatory drugs which are special derivatives of 5 ASA derivatives. These are used either orally or through enema, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, biological agents, antibiotics, anti-diarrheal drugs, and laxatives. Regular treatment and frequent tests are imperative.”

Some tips from HCFI

Identify the triggers For some these triggers could be food such as dairy products. Identifying the foods that trigger the symptoms and avoiding them is crucial.

Go for less gassy foods Avoid beans, cabbage, and cauliflower as these can cause gas. Consume more of foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Eat smaller meals This will help your digestive system to adjust better to the condition.

Keep yourself adequately hydrated Drink plenty of water and other fluids. However, limit the consumption of caffeine and alcohol.

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