Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Intestinal Problems (cont.)
Lori Kam, MD
Leslie J. Schoenfield, MD, PhD
Leslie J. Schoenfield, MD, PhD
Dr. Schoenfield served as associate professor of medicine and consultant in gastroenterology on the faculty of the Mayo Clinic for seven years. He became a professor of medicine in residence at UCLA from 1972 to 1999 (now emeritus). He was the director of gastroenterology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for 25 years, where he received the chief resident's teaching award, the president's award, and the pioneer of medicine award.
In this Article
What should be done about polyps in IBD?
Not all polyps that are found in IBD patients are pre-cancerous or cancerous.Some polyps form as a result of the inflammatory and healing processes. These polyps are called inflammatory polyps or pseudopolyps, and they do not turn into cancer. The only way to make sure that polyps do not have pre-cancerous or cancerous cells, however, is to remove (biopsy) and examine them under the microscope.
What is toxic megacolon and what are its causes and symptoms?
Toxic megacolon causes
Toxic megacolon is a widened (dilated) segment of the colon in a patient withsevere inflammation of the colon (colitis). The megacolon develops when thelining of the colon is so inflamed that the colon loses its ability to contractproperly. When this happens, the propelling (peristaltic) contractions areunable to move the intestinal gas along through the colon. The colon, therefore, accumulates excessive amounts of gas. The gas then increases the pressure on thebowel wall, which causes the colon to dilate.
Toxi megacolon symptoms
Patients with toxic megacolon usually are very ill, with abdominal pain, bloating (distention), and fever. Thedilated colon can allow bacteria to leak through the bowel wall into the bloodstream (septicemia). With continuing dilation, the inflamed colonic wall becomesat high risk for bursting (perforating) and causing inflammation of the abdominal cavity (peritonitis). Both septicemia and peritonitis are serious infections, which, in some cases, can even lead to death.
Toxic megacolon typically occurs when inflammation of the colon is severe. This complication, however, does not occur exclusively in patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. Thus, a toxic megacolon can develop in other types of colitis, such as amebiasis or bacillary dysentery (shigella). Narcotics, codeine, or anti-diarrheal medications such asdiphenoxylate (Lomotil) or loperamide (Imodium) can decrease the contractions ofthe colon and allow excessive gas to accumulate. These medications, therefore, predispose to the development of toxic megacolon and should be avoided during severe episodes (flares) of colitis.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/26/2015
Viewers share their comments
Inflammatory Bowel Disease - Experience Question: Please describe the inflammatory bowel disease you suffer from.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) - Treatments Question: What kinds of treatment, therapy, or medication have you received for your inflammatory bowel disease?
Inflammatory Bowel Disease - Fistulas Question: Were you diagnosed with fistulas? Please describe your symptoms.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease - Colon Cancer Question: If you have IBD, what are your concerns about developing colon cancer?
Inflammatory Bowel Disease - Complications Question: What are the complications you've experienced with IBD? How have these been treated?
- Allergic Skin Disorders
- Bacterial Skin Diseases
- Bites and Infestations
- Diseases of Pigment
- Fungal Skin Diseases
- Medical Anatomy and Illustrations
- Noncancerous, Precancerous & Cancerous Tumors
- Oral Health Conditions
- Papules, Scales, Plaques and Eruptions
- Scalp, Hair and Nails
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Vascular, Lymphatic and Systemic Conditions
- Viral Skin Diseases
- Additional Skin Conditions