Psychological impacts of dealing with IBD
While the physical impacts of the debilitating gastrointestinal inflammation and the acute symptoms of IBD are often unbearable and life threatening, the psychological effects too are far from bearable. However, as the gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal are curbed with the aid of medications such as corticosteroids and biologics for IBD, the psychological impacts are often overlooked.
Apart from depression, anxiety, and unfathomable amount of stress, IBD patients experience the constant embarrassment of bearing with the evident impacts of the disease. The fear of having to rush to toilet unexpectedly, the dread of an accidental bowel leakage, the nauseating smells, and so on invoke the distress of being ridiculed and bullied in public places. Moreover, being on a complete dietary control can often be hard, as the weak body has to be constantly supplied with the right foods that help maintain the overall health and wellness. Psychological effects of lack of appetite and severe abdominal pain lead to unhealthy eating habits and subsequent health disorders. They also result in social isolation that arises from the despairs of not being able to savour delectable foods. Patients who suffer from moderate to severe conditions of IBD are mostly on liquid diets that are easy on digestion. However, these food habits too can lead to immense stress and difficulty, as the deteriorating condition of gastrointestinal inflammation might aggravate cramping, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhoea. As IBD causes weight loss and malnutrition, patients soon started dealing with the distress of being small, thin, and less healthy. This growing sense of intimidation might lead to intake higher dose of steroids that are harmful and life threatening. The mounting feeling of isolation and distress, and the lack of ability to lead a normal life can result in prolonged sense of depression and anger. Unlike other digestive disorders IBD invokes active disease conditions and symptom-free remission intermittently. Hence, the unpredictability of IBD too can be a major distress causing factor that can aggravate IBD signs and gastrointestinal inflammation.
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Submitted on: 2015-12-18 03:25:24