Crohn's Disease in Kansas City, MO
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What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease is part of a category of diseases with the title of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Crohn's disease is the painful swelling of the digestive tract. The disease commonly includes the small bowel and colon, but it could possibly impact any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the anus to the mouth. Crohn’s disease is not the same as the other type of IBD referred to as ulcerative colitis.
Crohn’s disease can affect the entirety of the bowel wall and often spreads to deeper parts of the involved bowel anatomy. This gastrointestinal affliction is often excessively painful and can sometimes lead to even more grave complications. If you or a loved one deal with the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, please reach out to Digestive Health Specialists. Our board-certified GI specialists in Kansas City, MO are committed to assisting people to improve their quality of life by implementing proven treatments.
What are some causes of Crohn's disease?
The exact cause of Crohn’s disease is still a mystery. There are, however, some known factors that appear to play a role in the likeliness of being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and its difficulties.
- Immune system: It is possible that internal viruses or bacteria might trigger Crohn’s disease. When our body stimulates the immune system to combat a virus or bacteria, an unusual immune system response can attack the cells found with the digestive tract as well. As a result, portions of the small intestine and the colon come to be inflamed.
- Genetics: You could inherit genes from a parent/or parents, which place you at a more pronounced likelihood of having Crohn’s disease. As great as 20% of those with Crohn’s disease have a relative who also shares the condition or a different inflammatory bowel disease. It is most common in those between the ages of 20 and 30.
What are the common symptoms of Crohn’s disease?
Most symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease develop over time, and can range from mild to severe. Crohn’s disease symptoms might be:
- Cramps in the stomach
- Mouth sores
- Disruption of usual menstrual cycle
- Sudden loss of weight
- Bloody stool
- Pain in the abdomen
- Poor development in children
- Pain or drainage near or around the anus
- Bleeding from the rectum
Contact Digestive Health Specialists immediately if you notice persisting changes in your bowel habits, or you are experiencing any of the below listed symptoms:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Blood in your stool
- Persistent and/or severe abdominal pain
- Persistent diarrhea
- Fever extending more than a day
How is Crohn’s disease treated?
There is currently no cure for Crohn’s disease, and treatment can be different from person to person. The main objectives of Crohn’s disease treatments are to manage the inflammation that triggers symptoms, and then reach and maintain remission. The best-case scenario is that the disease can go into long-term remission in a person who receives proper care. Crohn’s disease may be treated with any one of or a combination of the below-listed treatment options.
Antibiotics: Antibiotics may be able to eliminate bacteria that initiate the unusual immune system reaction that is to blame for inflammation. These are not a mainstay of therapy but may be used in coordination with other therapies.
Anti-inflammatory medications: Steroids or corticosteroids could be used to reduce swelling while implementing a long-term treatment option. Corticosteroids assist in the reduction of swelling in one's body and can be utilized in tandem with immune system suppressors.
Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: These therapies address the body’s unusual immune reaction to viruses and bacteria. An example of the immunosuppressant medications a Digestive Health Specialists gastroenterologist might prescribe include: methotrexate, natalizumab, vedolizumab, ustekinumab,azathioprine, infliximab, adalimumab, and certolizumab.
Diet: The gastroenterologist may recommend special nutritional protocols to help with symptoms and assist in entering remission.
Surgery: Occasionally, individuals with Crohn’s disease might need surgery to treat bleeding, infection, fistulas, or blockages if medication is not helping. Others may need surgery to extract the diseased part of the intestine.
Medications for symptoms: Certain supplements and medications may also be suggested to assist in the management of Crohn’s disease symptoms. These might include:
- Iron supplements
- Vitamin D and calcium supplements
- Vitamin B-12 shots
Assistance is available for Crohn's disease in Kansas City, MO. Contact Digestive Health Specialists today to discover more about potential treatments.
Can Crohn’s disease cause health complications?
Intestinal blockage can manifest in individuals with Crohn’s disease. A blockage occurs because the bowel wall thickens or swells from scar tissue and inflammation. Also, ulcers have been seen to be the cause of tunnels that may grow through inflamed areas of the intestine to surrounding bowel tissues, or in some cases, other organs.
If you have Crohn’s disease, you may have insufficient stores of calories, protein or vitamins in your diet. This might occur because you may be unable to absorb nutrients from your food, you deal with a nauseated stomach preventing you from consuming a sufficient amount of food, or you could be suffering a loss of protein through the intestine.
Other complications caused by Crohn’s disease could include:
- Dermatological issues
- Kidney stones
- Inflammation in the mouth or eyes
Can Crohn’s disease be fatal?
Crohn’s disease is not considered a fatal disease. However, if not addressed properly, eventually, an individual who has Crohn’s disease may progress to health complications that may be deadly. Digestive Health Specialists may provide information on several clinical studies and treatment programs to help control the symptoms and better the lives of all those struggling with Crohn’s disease.
Expert treatment for Crohn's disease
Here at Digestive Health Specialists, we understand the effects Crohn’s disease can have regarding your overall health and daily life. Our physician-led network of GI specialists are masters at treating gastrointestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease, and our team is pledged to offering expert, personalized care to every one of our patients. To get in touch with a physician in Kansas City, MO who specializes in treating Crohn’s disease, we urge you to contact our team today.
Crohn's Disease FAQs
How is Crohn’s disease diagnosed?
The confirmation of Crohn's disease is typically accomplished through one or more tests. Our Digestive Health Specialists team may start the diagnostic process by reviewing your medical history, symptoms, and any family history of Crohn’s or IBD. After conducting a physical examination, they may order endoscopic procedures (such as an EGD and a colonoscopy) and lab testing of blood and stool samples. MRIs, CT scans, and other diagnostic imaging might also be used to help diagnose Crohn's disease.
Is Crohn’s disease a chronic condition?
Crohn’s disease is a chronic, long-term medical condition that can vary from person to person. While the symptoms of this disease can range from slight to intense, the severity can also fluctuate. Crohn’s disease can worsen over time, and flares may ensue.
Can Crohn’s disease be cured?
Presently, there is no method of curing Crohn’s disease. In some patients, the disease might be in remission when it is not in an active state. Receiving Crohn's disease treatment and working to minimize inflammation could help control the disease and decrease its symptoms.
Do dietary factors impact Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease does not appear to be affected by dietary factors. Though there might be certain food items that trigger flare-ups of the condition or specific symptoms, these can differ from person to person. Talk with your GI provider about any potential modifications to your diet you might make to help ease the effects of Crohn's disease.
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