Crohn's Disease in Louisiana

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Crohn’s disease is part of a category of conditions known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is the cause of uncomfortable irritation of the digestive system. The disease most often involves the small intestine and colon, however, it could impact any area of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the anus to the mouth. Crohn’s disease is different from the other variation of IBD (ulcerative colitis).

Crohn’s disease typically affects the entirety of the bowel wall and often extends to deeper portions of the involved intestinal tissue. This gastrointestinal condition is typically extremely uncomfortable and can sometimes develop into even more serious complications. If you or a loved one deal with the challenges of Crohn’s disease, we urge you to request with GastroGroup & Endocenter. Our board-certified GI doctors in Louisiana are dedicated to helping individuals improve their quality of life with tested treatments.

The specific cause of Crohn’s disease is still a mystery. There are, however, some factors that appear to play a role in the presentation of Crohn’s disease and its many challenges.

  • Immune system: It is thought that internal viruses or bacteria may likely trigger Crohn’s disease. When the human body spurs the immune system to combat a bacteria or virus, an abnormal immune response can attack the cells found in the digestive tract. As a result, areas of the small bowel and the colon become inflamed.
  • Genetics: A person may inherit genes from a parent/or parents that makes them more likely to be diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. As high as 20% of those with Crohn’s disease have a relative who also has been diagnosed with the disease or another inflammatory bowel disease. It is most common in people of the ages of 20 and 30.

The majority of symptoms resulting from Crohn’s disease develop over time, and can be from mild to severe. Crohn’s disease symptoms could involve:

  • Sudden loss of weight
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Disruption of usual menstrual cycle
  • Drainage or pain around or near the anus
  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Constipation
  • Cramps in the stomach
  • Fever
  • Poor development in children
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in the stool
  • Pain in the abdomen

You should contact GastroGroup & Endocenter immediately if you become aware of persistent changes regarding your bowel habits. This also applies if you are experiencing any of the listed symptoms:

  • Ongoing diarrhea
  • Persistent and/or severe abdominal pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blood in your stool
  • Fever extending for more than one day

There is currently no known cure for Crohn’s disease, and its treatment will likely be different for each individual. The primary aim of Crohn’s disease treatments are to control the inflammation that initiates symptoms, and then remain in remission. The best-case scenario is that the disease will move into long-term remission in a patient who is given proper care. Crohn’s disease might be treated with one or a combination of the following treatment options.

Antibiotics: Antibiotics can help eliminate bacteria that trigger the unusual immune system response, which is to blame for inflammation. These may be used in conjunction with additional therapies.

Anti-inflammatory medications: Steroids or corticosteroids might be administered to reduce swelling while choosing a long-term treatment plan. Corticosteroids help reduce inflammation in the body and can also be used in conjunction with immune system suppressants.

Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: These medications tackle the body’s inappropriate immune response to bacteria and viruses. A partial list of the immunosuppressant drugs a GastroGroup & Endocenter gastroenterologist might prescribe include: infliximab, adalimumab, azathioprine, certolizumab, methotrexate, natalizumab, ustekinumab, and vedolizumab.

Diet: A gastroenterologist might recommend special nutritional protocols to alleviate symptoms and aid in induction of remission.

Surgery: Some patients with Crohn’s disease could need surgery to treat bleeding, infection, fistulas, or blockages if medication is not performing as hoped. Still others might require surgery to remove the damaged area of the intestine.

Medications that treat the symptoms: Certain medications and supplements could also be recommended to assist in management of Crohn’s disease symptoms. These may include:

  • Iron supplements
  • Vitamin D and calcium supplements
  • Vitamin B-12 shots
  • Antidiarrheals

Care is available for Crohn's disease in Louisiana. Call GastroGroup & Endocenter to discover more about potential options for care.

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Intestinal blockage has been known to occur in those who have Crohn’s disease. A blockage occurs when the intestinal wall thickens or swells from inflammation and scar tissue. Also, ulcers have been known be the cause of tunnels that might grow through inflamed areas of the bowel to nearby bowel tissues or even other organs.

If you suffer from Crohn’s disease, you might lack sufficient levels of calories, protein or vitamins in the food you consume. This could occur because you may not be able to absorb nutrients from the food you consume, you suffer from an upset stomach keeping you from consuming enough, or you're losing protein through the intestine.

Additional complications of Crohn’s disease might include:

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

Crohn’s disease is not considered a fatal disease. However, if ignored, an individual who has Crohn’s disease may progress to health problems that might be fatal. GastroGroup & Endocenter may have access to multiple clinical research studies and treatment programs to help address the symptoms and better the lives of anyone struggling with Crohn’s disease.


Patient-focused care for Crohn's disease

At GastroGroup & Endocenter, our team understands the impact Crohn’s disease can have to your general health and everyday life. Our board-certified gastroenterologists specializes in treating GI diseases such as Crohn’s disease, and our team is dedicated to offering expert, personalized service to each of our patients. To get in touch with a physician in Louisiana who treats Crohn’s disease, we encourage you reach out to our practice today.

How is Crohn’s disease diagnosed?

A Crohn's disease diagnosis is generally achieved with a combination of tests. Our GastroGroup and Endocenter gastrointestinal providers may begin the diagnostic process by learning about your medical history, the symptoms you are experiencing, and any familial history of Crohn’s or IBD. After conducting a physical exam, they may prescribe endoscopic procedures (such as an EGD and a colonoscopy) and lab testing of fecal and blood samples. CT scans, MRIs, and other diagnostic imaging might also be utilized to confirm a Crohn's disease diagnosis.

Is Crohn’s disease an on-going condition?

Crohn’s disease is a long-lasting, chronic condition that can differ among patients. Although Crohn's symptoms may range from mild to acute, the the intensity can also vary. This disease can worsen as time passes, and flare-ups may become more frequent.

Can Crohn’s disease a curable condition?

At this time, there is no way to cure Crohn’s disease. In some patients, the disease could go into remission. Undergoing Crohn's disease treatment and taking measures to decrease inflammation may help control the condition and alleviate its effects.

Do dietary factors impact Crohn’s disease?

Dietary factors do not appear to cause Crohn’s disease. Though some food items may induce flare-ups of Crohn's disease or certain symptoms, these foods will differ from person to person. Ask your GI specialist about any potential dietary changes you might implement to help decrease the effects of Crohn's disease.

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