Crohn’s disease often strikes at an early age, with most cases diagnosed between the ages of 20-30 years. Since Crohn’s isn’t curable, that means you face a lifetime of managing your disease, a task that’s easier when you have the support of the doctors at Houston Regional Gastroenterology in Sugar Land and Humble, Texas. The physicians have years of experience working closely with Crohn’s patients, helping them stay in remission as long as possible so they can enjoy an active life. If you need help with Crohn’s disease, call one of the offices or schedule an appointment online.
Crohn’s is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the internal lining of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This disease can affect any part of your GI tract, but it most often occurs in the small intestine and the first part of your large intestine.
The inflammation that’s characteristic of Crohn’s penetrates deep into the intestinal wall. As a result, it can lead to serious complications, including:
If you have Crohn’s disease, you also have a higher risk of developing colon cancer compared to adults who don’t have an inflammatory bowel disease.
Most patients with Crohn’s disease have symptoms that alternate between periods of active disease and remission. When Crohn’s flares up, you have symptoms such as:
You can also experience problems throughout your body. An estimated 21-40% of those with Crohn’s eventually develop inflammatory problems such as arthritis, skin conditions, and eye inflammation.
To diagnose Crohn’s disease, your doctor at Houston Regional Gastroenterology reviews your medical history, does a physical exam, and runs tests such as blood work and diagnostic imaging. Your doctor may also perform endoscopy or colonoscopy to closely examine your intestinal lining and evaluate the extent of your disease.
Crohn’s treatment focuses on relieving your symptoms and keeping your disease in remission. Your individualized treatment plan may include:
A wide range of medications is available to treat Crohn’s disease, including immune system suppressants, anti-inflammatory agents, biologic therapies, and antidiarrheal drugs.
Your small intestine absorbs the food you eat. Inflammation from Crohn’s can affect that process and lead to nutritional deficiencies, a problem that supplements treat.
When your Crohn’s symptoms flare up or they’re severe, your doctor may recommend resting your bowel, so the tissues have time to heal. The best way to rest your intestine is with a liquid diet.
Surgery doesn’t cure Crohn’s, but it can give you long-lasting symptom relief by removing the damaged parts of your intestine.
If you have abdominal pain and diarrhea, call Houston Regional Gastroenterology or schedule an appointment online.