AIR POLLUTION CAN BE A RISK FACTOR OF INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE (IBD)
Long-term exposure to air pollution can trigger inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This is because pollutants contained in air pollution can disrupt the immune system so that it can attack cells in the digestive system.
Prof. Dr. Ari Fahrial Syam, PhD, MMB, FACP, FACG, Gastroenterohepatology consultant, explained that inhaled air pollution can enter the bloodstream and disrupt the health of the body’s organs, including the digestive system. Apart from that, air pollution can also have a direct impact on digestive health if you consume food or drinks contaminated with pollutants.
“Directly, when food contains pollutants it will definitely cause diarrhea, but in the long term this will cause inflammation in the large intestine, and then what is called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can occur,” explained Prof. Ari in a webinar at the Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Indonesia (FMUI).
Although not a direct cause, exposure to air pollution has been shown to increase the risk of IBD. Prof. Ari said there are several ways to prevent inflammatory bowel disease due to air pollution, including:
• Use a mask when outdoors, especially when the air quality is poor
• Eat healthy foods, such as avoiding fatty foods and coconut milk, fried foods, offal, chocolate, and cheese
• Reduce or stop the habit of drinking alcohol
• Quit smoking
• Eat sufficient portions
• Exercise regularly
• Get enough rest
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