Inflammatory Bowel Disease hits youths of industrialised civilisation
Hyderabad: Considered to be a disease of the industrialised and the affluent class, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), is going to be the next big epidemic in the country, say experts. IBD has no particular cause or a cure, but scientists say it is increasingly being noticed among IT professionals of the city and others, particularly affecting young people in the age bracket of 21 to 35.
Experts add that incidence of IBD is very high in cities, but almost non-existent in villages. Gastroenterology experts were speaking during an International Symposium on IBD organised by the city-based Asian Institute of Gastroenterology. IBD is characterised by chronic inflammation of the digestive tract and can lead to life threatening complications. Main symptoms, according to experts, are nocturnal diarrhoea, fever etc.
Dr D. Nageshwar Reddy, chairman, Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, said, “It is expected that there will be about 13 million cases of IBD in the country by 2021. But unfortunately, it is not yet considered a public problem. It is going to be a very big problem in the future.” Dr Simon Travis, professor of gastroenterology, Oxford University, termed it as the next big epidemic.
“This could be the next big epidemic in India. Even if 1 per cent of India’s population is affected, it’s a huge number,” he said. Dr Stephen Hanauer, professor of medicine, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, said, “Incidence of IBD has grossly expanded after World War II and it is mostly a disease of the industrialised world that is affecting India now.”
Dr Nageshwar Reddy added that almost 3000 patients had been received at the AIG, most of whom were working IT professional from the city. Dr Stephen Targan, professor of medicine, UCLA School of Medicine, said, “It is not caused by a single infection. There is work being done to find the exact cause, but it hasn’t been pinpointed yet.”
Dr Siew Ng, associate professor, Chinese University of Hong Kong, said that psychological stress can also aggravate the conditions of the disease.