Crohn's Disease With GastroMed Connect

What is Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s disease is a category of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This disease is the cause of painful inflammation of the digestive system. Crohn’s disease usually involves the small bowel and also the colon, but it might have ramifications for any portion of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract anywhere from the mouth to the anus. Crohn’s disease is different from the alternate form of IBD known as ulcerative colitis.

Crohn’s disease can affect the whole of the intestinal wall and sometimes spreads to more interior portions of the involved bowel wall. This GI affliction is typically quite uncomfortable and, in many cases, can develop into more serious complications. If you or a loved one suffer from the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, we urge you to contact GastroMed Connect. Our board-certified GI specialists in Kyle, TX are dedicated to helping our patients improve their quality of life through tested treatment options.

What causes Crohn's disease?

The specific cause of Crohn’s disease is, currently, a mystery. However, there are some factors that seem to influence the likeliness of being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and its’ difficulties.

  • Genetics: A person could inherit genetic material from a parent/or parents which increases their chance of having Crohn’s disease. As great as 20% of individuals with Crohn’s disease have a relative who also suffers from the condition or similar inflammatory bowel disease. It is most often seen in individuals between the ages of 20 – 30.
  • Immune system: It is thought that internal bacteria or viruses can activate Crohn’s disease. When your body activates the immune system to engage a bacteria or virus, an unusual immune system reaction can attack the cells in the digestive system as well. A result of this can be that parts of the small bowel, as well as the colon, become swollen.

If you feel you might be at risk for Crohn’s disease and would like more information, our dedicated team of GI specialists in Kyle, TX are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

What are the common symptoms of Crohn’s disease?

Typically symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease manifest slowly, and they range from mild to severe. Symptoms of Crohn’s disease might include:

  • Cramps in the stomach
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Constipation
  • Sudden loss of weight
  • Disruption of the normal menstrual cycle
  • Drainage or pain around or near the anus
  • Diarrhea
  • Mouth sores
  • Fever
  • Poor development in children
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Bloody stool

Contact GastroMed Connect right away if you become aware of persistent changes to your bowel habits, or if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Blood in your stool
  • Fever that lasts for more than one day
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Severe and/or persistent abdominal pain

How is Crohn’s disease typically treated?

There is, as of now, no known cure for Crohn’s disease, and its treatment will likely vary for each individual. The main objectives of Crohn’s disease treatments are to control the inflammation that causes symptoms, and then reach and remain in remission. The best-case scenario is that the disease will enter into long-term remission in an individual who is given proper care. Crohn’s disease might be treated with one or a combination of the below-listed treatments.

Antibiotics: Antibiotics can help destroy bacteria that trigger the atypical immune system response that is to blame for inflammation. These are not a mainstay of therapy but may be used in coordination with additional therapies.

Anti-inflammatory medications: Steroids or corticosteroids may be administered to handle swelling while choosing a long-term treatment option. Corticosteroids help reduce inflammation in the body and can also be used in tandem with immune system suppressants.

Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: These therapies address the body’s abnormal immune reaction to viruses and bacteria. A few of the immunosuppressant drugs your GastroMed Connect gastroenterologist might prescribe include: infliximab, adalimumab, azathioprine, certolizumab, methotrexate, natalizumab, ustekinumab, and vedolizumab.

Nutrition: A gastroenterologist may recommend special nutritional protocols to alleviate symptoms and assist in entering remission.

Surgery: Sometimes, patients with Crohn’s disease could need surgery to correct bleeding, infection, fistulas, or blockages if medication is not helping. Others could need surgery to remove the damaged area of the intestine.

Medications for symptoms: Specific medications and supplements could also be suggested to help manage Crohn’s disease symptoms. These may include:

  • Anti-diarrheals
  • Calcium and vitamin D supplements
  • Vitamin B-12 shots
  • Iron supplements

Treatment is available for Crohn’s disease in Kyle, TX. Get in touch with a GastroMed Connect specialist near you to learn more about potential options for care.