Crohn's Disease in New Orleans, LA
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What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease is a part of a group of diseases referred to as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This condition manifests in painful inflammation of the digestive tract. The disease most commonly incorporates the small bowel and also the colon, however, it could affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the anus to the mouth. Crohn’s disease is not the same as the other variation of IBD called ulcerative colitis.
Crohn’s disease often affects the entire intestinal wall and often goes even further into deeper levels of the affected bowel anatomy. This gastrointestinal disease can be very painful and in many cases can progress into even more serious complications. If you or a loved one suffer from the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, please request a consultation with Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates. Our board-certified GI specialists in New Orleans, LA are committed to helping individuals better their quality of life by implementing proven treatment options.
What causes Crohn's disease?
The exact source of Crohn’s disease is currently undiscovered. There are, however, a few variables that seem to impact the likeliness of being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and its many challenges.
- Genetics: You may inherit genes from a parent/or parents that put you at a higher risk of being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. As many as 20% of individuals with Crohn’s disease are related to someone who also suffers from the disease or another inflammatory bowel disease. It is most common in individuals between the ages of 20 – 30.
- Immune system: It is possible that internal bacteria or viruses can trigger Crohn’s disease. When the human body incites the immune system to fight a bacteria or virus, an abnormal immune system reaction can attack the cells in the digestive tract as well. A result of this can be that areas of the small bowel and the colon become swollen.
What are the common symptoms of Crohn’s disease?
Most symptoms resulting from Crohn’s disease manifest over time, and they range from mild to severe. Symptoms of Crohn's disease may be:
- Sores in the mouth
- Rectal bleeding
- Blood in the stool
- Sudden weight loss
- Drainage or pain near or around the anus
- Loss of normal menstrual cycle
- Poor development in children
- Cramps in the stomach
- Pain in the abdomen
Contact Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates immediately if you notice persistent changes in your bowel habits, or if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Fever extending for more than one day
- Unintentional weight loss
- Persistent diarrhea
- Bloody stool
- Persistent and/or severe pain in the abdomen
How is Crohn’s disease typically treated?
There is, unfortunately, no known cure for Crohn’s disease, and treatment will likely vary from person to person. The primary focus of Crohn’s disease treatment is to manage the swelling that triggers symptoms, and then achieve and maintain remission. In the best cases, the disease will move into long-term remission in an individual who is given proper care. Crohn’s disease might be treated with one or multiple of the below-listed treatment options.
Antibiotics: Antibiotics may be able to kill bacteria that initiate the inappropriate immune system response that causes inflammation. These are not a mainstay of therapy but may be used in collaboration with additional therapies.
Anti-inflammatory medications: Steroids or corticosteroids may be used to handle inflammation while choosing a long-term treatment plan. Corticosteroids help reduce swelling in one's body and can also be used in combination with immune system suppressants.
Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: These therapies tackle the body’s inappropriate immune reaction to viruses and bacteria. Some of the immunosuppressant medications your Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates gastroenterologist could prescribe include: methotrexate, natalizumab, vedolizumab, ustekinumab, azathioprine, infliximab, adalimumab, and certolizumab.
Nutrition: Your gastroenterologist may recommend a special diet to help with symptoms and assist in the induction of remission.
Surgery: Some patients with Crohn’s disease may require surgery to manage blockages, fistulas, infection, or bleeding if medication is not helping. Others may need surgery to remove the diseased portion of the intestine.
Medications that treat the symptoms: Specific supplements and medications might also be recommended to help manage Crohn’s disease symptoms. These might include:
- Iron supplements
- Vitamin D and calcium supplements
- Vitamin B-12 shots
Professional care is available for Crohn's disease in New Orleans, LA. Reach out to a Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates location near you today to learn more about potential options for care.
Does Crohn’s disease cause health complications?
An intestinal blockage can happen in people with Crohn’s disease. A blockage occurs because the intestinal wall swells or thickens as a result of inflammation and scar tissue. Additionally, ulcers can cause tunnels to grow through inflamed portions of the intestine that surround intestinal tissue or possibly other organs.
If you have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, you might lack a sufficient supply of protein, vitamins, or calories in the food you consume. This may occur because you may be unable to absorb nutrients from your food, you experience a nauseated stomach preventing you from consuming enough sustenance, or you may be suffering a loss of protein through the intestine.
Other complications caused by Crohn’s disease can include:
- Skin problems
- Swelling of the eyes or mouth
- Kidney stones
Expert care for Crohn's disease
Crohn’s disease isn't in and of itself a fatal disease. However, if ignored, over time, a person who has Crohn’s disease could progress to health complications that can be fatal. Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates may have access to several clinical trials and treatment programs to help treat the symptoms and enhance the lives of all those dealing with Crohn’s disease.
Patient-centered treatment for Crohn's disease
Here at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates, our team understands the effects Crohn’s disease can have on your overall well-being and everyday life. Our physician-led network of gastroenterologists specializes in treating gastrointestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease, and our team is committed to offering personalized, expert service to each of our patients. To request a consultation with a provider in New Orleans, LA who specializes in treating Crohn’s disease, please reach out to our team today.
Crohn's Disease FAQs
What tests are used to detect Crohn's disease?
The identification of Crohn's disease is generally performed with a combination of tests. Our Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates team may begin the diagnostic process by learning about your medical history, signs or symptoms, and any family history of IBD or Crohn's. After conducting an examination, they may prescribe endoscopic tests (like an EGD and a colonoscopy) and laboratory testing of blood and stool samples. CT scans, MRIs, and additional imaging procedures may also be carried out to diagnose Crohn's disease.
Is Crohn’s disease a progressive condition?
Crohn’s disease is a long-lasting, chronic condition that can vary among individuals. Even though the symptoms of this disease can range from slight to severe, the degree of severity can also differ. This disease can worsen as time goes on, and flares might ensue.
Is Crohn’s disease curable?
Presently, there is no method of curing Crohn’s disease. For some people, the condition might go into remission if it is not in an active state. Getting treatment for Crohn's disease and taking measures to reduce inflammation may help control the disease and alleviate its symptoms.
Can dietary factors have an effect on Crohn’s disease?
Dietary habits do not seem to be the reason behind Crohn’s disease. While some food items could stimulate Crohn's flare-ups or certain types of symptoms, these can differ from individual to individual. Ask your gastrointestinal specialist about any potential changes to dietary habits you might implement to help alleviate the effects of Crohn's disease.
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