Crohn's Disease in Florida
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What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease is part of a larger group of diseases referenced as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This disease is the cause of painful irritation of the digestive tract. The condition often includes the small bowel as well as the colon, still, it may affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract anywhere from the anus to the mouth. Crohn’s disease is not the same as the alternate type of IBD referred to as ulcerative colitis.
Crohn’s disease typically affects the whole of the intestinal wall and often goes even further to deeper layers of the involved bowel anatomy. This gastrointestinal condition is typically quite uncomfortable and can sometimes grow into more grave complications. If you or someone you love deals with the daily realities of Crohn’s disease, please schedule a consultation with Gastroenterology Associates of Florida. Our board-certified gastroenterologists in Florida are dedicated to helping people better their quality of life by implementing proven treatment options.
What causes Crohn's disease?
The specific cause of Crohn’s disease is as yet undiscovered. However, there are some variables that seem to impact the likeliness of being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and its symptoms.
- Immune system: It is likely that internal viruses or bacteria can initiate Crohn’s disease. When our body triggers the immune system to defend against a bacteria or virus, an abnormal immune reaction can attack the cells in the digestive tract as well. A result of this can be that areas of the small bowel, as well as the colon, come to be inflamed.
- Genetics: An individual might inherit genes from a parent/or parents which set you at a more pronounced chance of developing Crohn’s disease. As high a percentage as 20% of individuals with Crohn’s disease have a relative who also shares the disease or similar inflammatory bowel disease. It is most common in individuals between the ages of 20 and 30.
Contact our GI providers at Gastroenterology Associates of Florida to learn more information about the condition.
What are some common symptoms of Crohn’s disease?
Usually, symptoms related to Crohn’s disease manifest gradually, and they range anywhere from mild to severe. Crohn’s disease symptoms may be:
- Sudden weight loss
- Disruption of the usual menstrual cycle
- Sores in the mouth
- Stomach cramps
- Pain in the abdomen
- Blood in the stool
- Poor development in children
- Rectal bleeding
- Drainage or pain near or around the anus
Schedule an appointment with Gastroenterology Associates of Florida immediately if you become aware of lasting changes regarding your bowel habits, or if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Bloody stool
- Persistent and/or severe pain in the abdomen
- Unexplained weight loss
- Persistent diarrhea
- Fever that lasts for more than one day
How is Crohn’s disease typically treated?
There is, currently, no cure for Crohn’s disease, and its treatment will be different from person to person. The main aims of Crohn’s disease treatment are to control the inflammation that initiates symptoms, and then reach and remain in remission. The best-case scenario is that the disease will move into long-term remission in a patient who receives correct care. Crohn’s disease might be treated with any one of or a combination of the following treatment options.
Antibiotics: Antibiotics can help eliminate bacteria that initiate the atypical immune system reaction, which is to blame for inflammation. These are not a mainstay of therapy but may be used in coordination with other therapies.
Anti-inflammatory medications: Steroids or corticosteroids can be employed to handle swelling during the process of implementing a long-term treatment option. Corticosteroids assist in the reduction of swelling in the body and can be used in tandem with immune system suppressants.
Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: These medications tackle the body’s inappropriate immune response to viruses and bacteria. An example of the immunosuppressant drugs your Gastroenterology Associates of Florida gastroenterologist could prescribe include: infliximab, adalimumab, azathioprine, certolizumab, methotrexate, natalizumab, ustekinumab, and vedolizumab.
Nutrition: Your gastroenterologist could recommend special nutritional protocols to alleviate symptoms and aid in entering remission.
Surgery: Sometimes, patients who have Crohn’s disease could need surgery to treat bleeding, infection, fistulas, or blockages if medication is not performing as hoped. Others might require surgery to extract the diseased area of the intestine.
Medications that treat the symptoms: Specific medications and supplements might also be recommended to help manage Crohn’s disease symptoms. These might include:
- Vitamin B-12 shots
- Calcium and vitamin D supplements
- Iron supplements
Help is available for Crohn's disease in Florida. Reach out to Gastroenterology Associates of Florida today to learn more about possible treatment options.
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Could Crohn’s disease cause health complications?
Intestinal blockage can occur in people who suffer from Crohn’s disease. A blockage forms because the intestinal wall swells or thickens as a result of scar tissue and inflammation. In addition, ulcers have been seen to cause tunnels that may form through swollen segments of the intestine to nearby bowel tissues or in some cases, other organs.
If you have Crohn’s disease, you could lack sufficient stores of calories, protein, or vitamins in the food you consume. This may be because you may be unable to absorb nutrients from your food, you deal with a nauseated stomach preventing you from consuming enough food, or you might be suffering a loss of protein through the intestine.
Other complications of Crohn’s disease can include:
- Inflammation in the mouth or eyes
- Kidney stones
- Dermatological issues
If you are dealing with any of the above complications, reach out to our GI providers at Gastroenterology Associates of Florida. We will work by your side to create a treatment plan that works successfully for you.
Can Crohn’s disease be fatal?
Crohn’s disease isn't in and of itself a fatal disease. However, if left unmanaged and untreated, eventually, someone with Crohn’s disease could progress to health problems that can be deadly. Gastroenterology Associates of Florida may provide information on multiple clinical research studies and care programs to help control the symptoms and better the lives of those struggling with Crohn’s disease.
Crohn's Disease FAQs
How is Crohn’s disease confirmed?
The detection of Crohn's disease is commonly accomplished with one or more tests. Our Gastroenterology Associates of Florida team may start by reviewing your health history, the symptoms you are experiencing, and any family history of IBD or Crohn's. After performing an examination, they may prescribe endoscopic procedures (like an EGD or a colonoscopy) and laboratory testing of blood and fecal samples. MRIs, CT scans, and additional diagnostic imaging may also be used to confirm a Crohn's disease diagnosis.
Is Crohn’s disease progressive?
Crohn’s disease is a chronic, long-lasting health condition that can differ among individuals. While Crohn's symptoms may vary from mild to acute, the severity can also fluctuate. This disease can worsen with time, and flare-ups can occur.
Is Crohn’s disease curable?
There is no known cure for Crohn’s disease. In some cases, the disease may fall into remission if it is not in an active state. Getting Crohn's disease treatment and taking measures to minimize inflammation might help control the condition and relieve its effects.
Does diet have an effect on Crohn’s disease?
Dietary factors do not appear to be the reason behind Crohn’s disease. Although some foods may elicit Crohn's flare-ups or specific effects, these can differ from person to person. Consult your GI specialist about any possible changes to your diet you might try to help control Crohn's disease symptoms.
Personalized treatment for Crohn's disease
At Gastroenterology Associates of Florida, we empathize with the impact Crohn’s disease can have on your general health and everyday life. Our physician-led network of GI specialists are masters at treating gastrointestinal conditions such as Crohn’s disease, and our team is dedicated to offering expert, personalized service to every one of our patients. To schedule with a doctor in Florida who specializes in treating Crohn’s disease, we encourage you to reach out to one of our locations today.
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