Though Crohn’s disease affects only about 500,000 people in the United States, rates of diagnosis are on the rise. Crohn’s disease is a life-long condition that causes a wide range of symptoms. The highly-trained board-certified physicians at Gateway Gastroenterology in Chesterfield, Missouri, specialize in diagnosing and treating Crohn’s disease, creating plans that minimize symptoms and flare-ups. To learn more about Crohn’s disease, call the office or request a consultation online today.
Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation in the deep layers of the digestive tract. Though the inflammation and irritation most often affect the small or large intestine, Crohn’s disease may occur in any part of the digestive tract — anywhere from your mouth to your anus.
Ulcerative colitis is another type of IBD that only affects the large intestine.
Researchers are still investigating what causes someone to develop Crohn’s disease. However, they theorize that the inflammation may occur because of a combination of genetics and an autoimmune reaction that triggers the immune system to mistakenly attack the lining of the digestive tract.
Crohn’s disease symptoms vary but tend to start gradually and worsen over time. Common symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:
The type and severity of your symptoms depend on the location of the inflammation. You may also develop other symptoms not related to your gastrointestinal tract, such as joint pain, nausea, or red tender bumps under the skin.
Crohn’s disease symptoms tend to come and go, going through periods of symptom flare-ups and remission. Crohn’s disease remission can last months or years.
The board-certified gastroenterologists at Gateway Gastroenterology conduct a comprehensive history and physical to determine what types of tests you need to determine the cause of your symptoms.
To diagnose Crohn’s disease, your gastroenterologist may perform:
Gateway Gastroenterology is a full-service practice that does many of these tests at its in-office lab or endoscopy center.
The experts at Gateway Gastroenterology customize your Crohn’s disease treatment plan based on the location of your inflammation and the severity of your symptoms. The goal of treatment is to ease your symptoms and decrease the frequency of flare-ups.
Your Crohn’s disease treatment plan may include medication to manage symptoms, such as bowel rest, antidiarrheal medication, or antibiotics to treat an infection. Your plan may also include medication to control inflammation and immune system reaction.
Gateway Gastroenterology offers infusions, where they provide immunomodulators that suppress the actions of the overactive immune system that triggers the inflammation.
When medical interventions fail to relieve symptoms, the gastroenterologists at Gateway Gastroenterology may recommend surgery to remove the areas of inflammation.
For comprehensive Crohn’s disease care, call Gateway Gastroenterology or request an appointment online today.