Crohn's Disease in Washington
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What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease is part of a larger group of conditions called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Crohn's disease manifests in painful swelling of the digestive tract. The disease most often involves the small intestine and the colon, but it could affect any area of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the anus to the mouth. Crohn’s disease is not the same as the other variation of IBD known as ulcerative colitis.
Crohn’s disease can affect the entirety of the bowel wall and sometimes goes even further into even deeper layers of the affected bowel tissue. This GI disease is often quite uncomfortable and can sometimes progress into more severe complications. If you or someone you love is plagued with the challenges of Crohn’s disease, please request a consultation with Washington Gastroenterology. Our board-certified GI specialists in Washington are dedicated to helping our patients improve their quality of life with proven treatment regimens.
What causes Crohn's disease?
The exact cause of Crohn’s disease is still unknown. However, some factors seem to play a role in the presentation of Crohn’s disease and its difficulties.
- Genetics: You could inherit genetic material from your parents, which makes you more likely to be diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. As many as 20% of those with Crohn’s disease have a relative who also suffers from the disease or similar inflammatory bowel disease. It is most commonly seen in individuals between the ages of 20 and 30.
- Immune system: It is possible that internal viruses or bacteria can activate Crohn’s disease. When the body initiates the immune system to defend against a bacteria or virus, an abnormal immune response can also attack the cells found in the digestive system. This can result in the inflammation of areas of the small intestine and the colon.
What are some common symptoms of Crohn’s disease?
Most symptoms related to Crohn’s disease develop over time, and they range from mild to severe. Symptoms of Crohn's disease might be:
- Sudden weight loss
- Bleeding from the rectum
- Below average development in children
- Cramps in the stomach
- Pain in the abdomen
- Bloody stool
- Pain or drainage around or near the anus
- Sores in the mouth
- Loss of normal menstrual cycle
Please contact your local Washington Gastroenterology promptly if you notice persistent changes in your bowel habits or if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Blood in your stool
- Fever lasting more than one day
- Unintentional weight loss
- Persistent diarrhea
- Persistent and/or severe pain in the abdomen
How is Crohn’s disease treated?
Currently, there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, and treatment will likely differ for each individual. The main goals of Crohn’s disease treatment are to control the inflammation that triggers symptoms and then reach and maintain remission. The best-case scenario is that the disease can move into long-term remission in a person who receives proper care. Crohn’s disease can be treated with one or a combination of the following treatment approaches.
Antibiotics: Antibiotics may be able to kill bacteria that trigger the unusual immune system response, which causes inflammation. These are not a mainstay of therapy but may be used in conjunction with other treatments.
Anti-inflammatory medications: Corticosteroids or steroids can address inflammation while choosing a long-term treatment option. Corticosteroids help reduce swelling in one's body and can also be used with immune system suppressants.
Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: Medications to address the body’s inappropriate immune response to bacteria and viruses. A few of the immunosuppressant drugs your Washington Gastroenterology specialist might prescribe include: infliximab, adalimumab, azathioprine, certolizumab, methotrexate, natalizumab, ustekinumab, and vedolizumab.
Nutrition: The gastroenterologist may recommend a special diet to alleviate symptoms and aid in remission.
Surgery: Some patients with Crohn’s disease may need surgery to manage blockages, fistulas, infections, or bleeding if medication is not performing as hoped. Still, others might need surgery to excise a diseased part of the intestine.
Medications for symptoms: Certain medications and supplements might also be suggested to assist in managing Crohn’s disease symptoms. These might include:
- Vitamin D and calcium supplements
- Vitamin B-12 shots
- Iron supplements
Help is available for Crohn's disease in Washington. Call Washington Gastroenterology today to find out more about possible options for care.
Can Crohn’s disease cause health complications?
Intestinal blockage can sometimes occur in individuals with Crohn’s disease. A blockage forms because the bowel wall thickens or swells from inflammation and scar tissue. Also, ulcers have been known to cause tunnels through inflamed bowel segments to nearby intestinal tissue or other organs.
If you have Crohn’s disease, you might have insufficient calories, protein, or vitamins in your food. This may result from an inability to absorb nutrients from your food, an upset stomach keeping you from eating enough sustenance, or a loss of protein through the intestine.
Additional complications caused by Crohn’s disease could include:
- Kidney stones
- Inflammation in the eyes or mouth
- Dermatological issues
Is Crohn’s disease fatal?
Crohn’s disease isn't in and of itself fatal. However, if left unmanaged and untreated, over time, someone with Crohn’s disease could develop health complications that can be fatal. Washington Gastroenterology can provide information on multiple clinical studies and treatment programs to help address the symptoms and better the lives of anyone dealing with Crohn’s disease.
Patient-centered treatment for Crohn's disease
Here at Washington Gastroenterology, we empathize with the impact Crohn’s disease can have on your general wellness and day-to-day life. Our board-certified gastroenterologists specialize in treating GI diseases such as Crohn’s disease, and we are dedicated to offering expert, personalized care to every one of our patients. To connect with a provider in Washington who treats Crohn’s disease, we encourage you to contact our local office today.
Crohn's Disease FAQs
What tests are used to diagnose Crohn's disease?
Diagnosing Crohn’s disease is often achieved by using a combination of testing methods. Our Washington Gastroenterology gastrointestinal providers may begin by reviewing your medical history, symptoms, and any family history of IBD or Crohn's. After conducting a physical examination, they may prescribe endoscopic procedures (like an EGD and a colonoscopy) and lab testing of blood and fecal samples. MRIs, CT scans, and additional imaging may also be conducted in the diagnosis of Crohn’s disease.
Is Crohn’s disease progressive?
Crohn’s disease is a chronic, long-term health condition that can vary from patient to patient. Likewise, its symptoms can also vary from mild to severe. Crohn’s disease can get worse as time goes on, and flare-ups can arise.
Does Crohn’s disease ever go away?
At this time, there is no known way to cure Crohn’s disease. In some individuals, the disorder might go into remission if it is not in an active state. Getting Crohn's disease treatment and taking steps to minimize inflammation could help control the condition and alleviate its effects.
Do dietary factors affect Crohn’s disease?
Dietary habits do not appear to be the cause of Crohn’s disease. There might be certain food items that stimulate flare-ups of Crohn's disease or certain types of symptoms; however, these can range among individual patients. Consult your GI specialist about any possible dietary modifications you might incorporate to help manage the effects of Crohn's disease.
When I get care it is good but appointments too far apart. Took way too long to determine I have SIBO. Haven’t gotten the prescription I need and it will be a week tomorrow. I’m still sick and might have to go to ER I feel so bad, I need something for pain and they won’t give me anything
The staff were professional and friendly. I enjoyed my experience right up until the time I was put under.
Excellent care. Very friendly and professional.
My first experienced of patient with Wagi Washington. There is professional in program and teamwork. Nothing to scare. The hardest part of me was that couldn’t eat any food, Vegetables , fruit and snacks the day to prepare and the day of procedure. Yes I really hungry but I was understanding the way I have to be. I great that I did it.
He is one of the best at Over Lake