Crohn's Disease in Dallas, TX

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What is Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s disease is a disease included in a category of conditions referenced as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This disease is the root of uncomfortable inflammation of the digestive tract. The condition usually incorporates the small bowel and colon, but it could possibly have ramifications on 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 called ulcerative colitis.

Crohn’s disease can affect the whole of the bowel wall and often goes even further into deeper portions of the affected intestinal wall. This gastrointestinal affliction is often excessively painful and in many cases can grow into even more serious complications. If you or someone you love suffer from the daily realities of Crohn’s disease, we strongly suggest you contact Digestive Health Associates of Texas. Our board-certified GI physicians in and around Dallas, TX are dedicated to helping individuals increase their quality of life using effective treatments.

What causes Crohn's disease?

The specific root of Crohn’s disease is unknown as of today. However, there are some known factors that seem to play a role in the likeliness of being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and its difficulties. These include:

  • Genetics: One might inherit genetic material from a parent/or parents that gives them a more pronounced chance of having Crohn’s disease. As many as 20% of people with Crohn’s disease are related to someone who also has the condition or another inflammatory bowel disease. It is most common in people somewhere within the ages of 20 and 30.
  • Immune system: It is likely that internal viruses or bacteria can initiate Crohn’s disease. When the body triggers the immune system to combat a virus or bacteria, an inappropriate immune response can attack the cells found within the digestive system as well. A result of this can be that portions of the small intestine and the colon become inflamed.

What are the common symptoms of Crohn’s disease?

Usually, symptoms resulting from Crohn’s disease manifest slowly, and they range anywhere from mild to severe. Crohn’s disease symptoms can include:

  • Cramps
  • Blood in the stool
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Drainage or pain near or around the anus
  • Constipation
  • Fever
  • Loss of usual menstrual cycle
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Slowed development in children
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Pain in the abdomen

You should contact your closest Digestive Health Associates of Texas location if you become aware of persisting changes to your bowel habits, or if you experience any of the below-listed symptoms:

  • Blood in your stool
  • Fever extending more than one day
  • Unrelenting diarrhea
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Severe and/or persistent and/or severe pain in the abdomen

How is Crohn’s disease typically treated?

There is, at this time, no known cure for Crohn’s disease, and its treatment will be different for each individual. The primary aims of Crohn’s disease treatments are to control the swelling that initiates symptoms, and then reach and remain in remission. The best-case scenario is that the disease can go into long-term remission in an individual who receives correct care. Crohn’s disease may be treated with any one of or multiple of the following treatment options.

  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics can help eliminate bacteria that initiate the abnormal immune system reaction which causes inflammation. These are not a mainstay of therapy but may be used in collaboration with additional therapies.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications: Steroids or corticosteroids might be employed to manage swelling while selecting a long-term treatment option. Corticosteroids help reduce inflammation in one's body and can also be used in addition to immune system suppressors.
  • Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: These medications address the body’s unusual immune reaction to bacteria and viruses. Some of the immunosuppressant medications your Digestive Health Associates of Texas gastroenterologist might prescribe include: azathioprine, infliximab, adalimumab, certolizumab, methotrexate, natalizumab, vedolizumab, and ustekinumab.
  • Nutrition: Your gastroenterologist could recommend a special diet to alleviate symptoms and aid in remission.
  • Surgery: In some cases, people with Crohn’s disease may need surgery to correct bleeding, infection, fistulas, or blockages if medication is not performing as hoped. Still, others could require surgery to remove the damaged area of the intestine.
  • Medications for symptoms: Specific supplements and medications might also be recommended to assist in the management of Crohn’s disease symptoms. These could include:
    • Calcium and vitamin D supplements
    • Iron supplements
    • Anti-diarrheals
    • Vitamin B-12 shots

Help is available for Crohn's disease in Dallas, TX. Call Digestive Health Associates of Texas to find out more about potential treatments.

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Does Crohn’s disease cause health complications?

Intestinal blockage has been known to manifest in individuals with Crohn’s disease. A blockage forms because the bowel wall swells or thickens as a result of inflammation and scar tissue. Additionally, ulcers can sometimes cause tunnels that may form through swollen areas of the bowel to nearby intestines or in some cases, other organs.

If you have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, you might have insufficient amounts of calories, protein, or vitamins in the food you consume. This may occur because you can't always absorb the nutrients from your food, you experience a nauseated stomach preventing you from eating a sufficient amount of food, or you may be suffering a loss of protein through the intestine.

Other complications caused by Crohn’s disease may include:

  • Arthritis
  • Skin problems
  • Kidney stones
  • Swelling of the mouth or eyes
  • Gallstones

Can Crohn’s disease be fatal?

Crohn’s disease isn't considered a fatal disease. However, an individual with Crohn’s disease can develop health complications that could become fatal. Digestive Health Associates of Texas has several clinical trials and care programs underway to help address the symptoms and improve the lives of those struggling with Crohn’s disease.

At Digestive Health Associates of Texas, our team understands the impact Crohn’s disease can have on your general well-being and everyday life. Our physician-led network of GI specialists are masters at treating gastrointestinal diseases like Crohn’s disease and we are dedicated to delivering expert, personalized care to each of our patients. To get in touch with a GI specialist near you, please contact Digestive Health Associates of Texas today.

Whether you have Crohn's disease or you have a variety of symptoms of Crohn's disease, we suggest you get in touch with Digestive Health Associates of Texas to find a GI specialist in your area. If left untreated, Crohn's disease can cause discomfort and eventually lead to health conditions that could become fatal. Our patient-centered practices are here to help you get the treatment you need to live your life without constantly worrying about Crohn's. Contact us in Dallas, TX today.

What tests are used to diagnose Crohn's disease?

Crohn's disease is commonly detected with a combination of tests. The gastrointestinal providers at Digestive Health Associates of Texas may begin by discussing your health history, signs or symptoms, and family history of Crohn’s or IBD. After providing an examination, they may order endoscopic tests (such as a colonoscopy and/or an EGD) and laboratory testing of blood and stool samples. CT scans, MRIs, and additional imaging procedures may also be performed to help diagnose Crohn's disease.

Is Crohn’s disease progressive?

Crohn’s disease is a chronic, often lifelong medical condition that can differ from patient to patient. Even though Crohn's symptoms may vary from slight to acute, the severity can fluctuate. This condition can get worse with time, and flare-ups may develop.

Does Crohn’s disease ever go away?

Currently, there is no method of curing Crohn’s disease. In some instances, the condition may be in remission if it is not in an active state. Seeking Crohn's disease treatment and working to decrease inflammation may help manage the disease and reduce its effects.

Can diet affect Crohn’s disease?

Dietary factors do not seem to cause Crohn’s disease. Certain food items might provoke Crohn’s flares or specific symptoms, but these can vary from patient to patient. Ask your gastrointestinal doctor about any potential dietary changes you might implement to help manage Crohn's disease symptoms.

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