Both Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are classified as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) which causes inflammation of the digestive tract, that often leads to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, and malnutrition.
Crohn’s: The inflammation caused by Crohn’s can involve different areas of the digestive tract in different people. While there is no known cure for Crohn’s disease, some therapies can reduce the symptoms of the inflammation.
Ulcerative Colitis: The inflammation caused by Ulcerative Colitis (UC) involves inflammation and ulcers in the innermost lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. Symptoms usually develop over time, rather than suddenly.
Both Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis can be debilitating and sometimes lead to life-threatening complications. These diseases have no known cure, however, with treatment, many people with Crohn’s and UC are able to function well.
One common risk factor shared by Crohn’s and UC patients is becoming dehydrated due to the nature of the illness. Dehydration is actually more serious than it sounds – especially in someone who is already battling IBD. If you’re a Crohn’s or UC patient, and you are in the middle of a flare-up, you already feel pretty bad. You’re probably having abdominal pain, feeling nauseous, and running to the bathroom every half hour; not to mention the fact that this makes you exhausted and probably a little scared too. You should get hydrated as soon as you can.
We become dehydrated when our bodies are depleted of water. This can happen through a combination of causes, such as not drinking enough water or fluids, or losing too much body fluid (for example through vomiting or diarrhea). You may be surprised at how much better you will feel by simply giving your body the needed fluids and nutrients that it has lost during one of your flare-ups.
Dehydration may not be a problem for everyone with Crohn’s or Colitis. However, you may be more likely to become dehydrated if:
- You have frequent or watery diarrhea
- You are not drinking enough water due to a loss of appetite
- You have had your colon removed
- You have an ileostomy (stoma)
- You have a very short bowel as a result of extensive surgery
- You have bile salt malabsorption. This can happen if you have Crohn’s in the ileum (the lower part of the small intestine), or you have had a resection in that area.
Signs of Mild Dehydration
One of the first signs of dehydration is just being thirsty. Mild dehydration also causes a dry mouth, headaches, tiredness, and a lack of energy. Feeling faint on standing up is another symptom of dehydration. If you only pass urine a few times a day, and can only pass small amounts, you may be mildly dehydrated. Another early sign of dehydration is dark yellow urine. Dehydration can also cause some constipation, which may be a problem for those with proctitis (inflammation in the rectum).
Contact us at The IV Hub in Medford, MA IV bar before your mild dehydration becomes more serious. If you are dealing with a serious illness such as Crohn’s or UC you don’t want to make things worse by letting yourself getting dehydrated. Talk to us about setting up a regular IV therapy schedule that you can utilize during a flare-up. And as always, we recommend that you speak with your doctor first.
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