The Role of General Practitioners in Early Detection of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
21 Jul 2016
As its name suggests, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which encompasses ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, involves chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. IBD is a common disease in the West, afflicting more than 5 million people.2 Although IBD is still rare in Southeast Asia, the incidence appears to be on the rise in Malaysia, with a rate of 0.67 per 100,000 population.3 It is noteworthy that early detection and management of IBD can reduce a significant amount of pain and stress for patients. Thus, general practitioners (GPs), who are experts trained to work in the front line of a healthcare system, play a vital role in reducing the burden of IBD through immediate referral of suspected IBD patients for specialist investigations.