Crohn's Disease in Connecticut

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What is Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s disease is part of a group of diseases referred to as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This disease manifests in uncomfortable inflammation of the digestive tract. The condition normally includes the small bowel and also the colon, however, it could possibly have ramifications for any area of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus. Crohn’s disease is unique from the other type of IBD known as ulcerative colitis.

Crohn’s disease typically affects the whole bowel wall and sometimes spreads into more interior portions of the affected intestinal wall. This gastrointestinal affliction can be excessively uncomfortable and can sometimes lead to more serious complications. If you or a loved one deal with the implications of Crohn’s disease, we urge you to schedule with Connecticut GI. Our board-certified GI providers in Connecticut are committed to helping our patients improve their quality of life by implementing proven treatment options.

What causes Crohn's disease?

The specific culprit of Crohn’s disease is still a mystery. There are, however, some variables that appear to impact the onset of Crohn’s disease and its symptoms.

  • Immune system: It is thought that internal viruses or bacteria might activate Crohn’s disease. When the body triggers the immune system to fight a bacteria or virus, an inappropriate immune system response can attack the cells found in the digestive tract as well. As a result, parts of the small intestine, as well as the colon, become inflamed.
  • Genetics: A person might inherit genes from a parent/or parents that make you at a more pronounced risk of suffering from Crohn’s disease. As many as 20% of people with Crohn’s disease have a family member who also suffers from the disease or a different inflammatory bowel disease. It is most often found in people between the ages of 20 and 30.

What are some common symptoms of Crohn’s disease?

The majority of symptoms related to Crohn’s disease develop slowly, and they can range from mild to severe. Crohn’s disease symptoms could include:

  • Disruption of normal menstrual cycle
  • Pain or drainage around or near the anus
  • Bloody stool
  • Mouth sores
  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Sudden loss of weight
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Slowed development in children
  • Fever

Contact your nearest Connecticut GI location swiftly if you notice lasting changes regarding your bowel habits or if you are experiencing any of the below-listed symptoms:

  • Blood in your stool
  • Fever extending for more than a day
  • Persistent and/or severe pain in the abdomen
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Unintentional weight loss

How is Crohn’s disease treated?

There is no known cure for Crohn’s disease, and treatment will likely vary from person to person. The main objectives of Crohn’s disease treatments are to manage the swelling that triggers symptoms and then reach and remain in remission. In the best cases, the disease can move into long-term remission in a patient who is given the correct care. Crohn’s disease may be treated with one or multiple of the below-listed treatment options.

Antibiotics: Antibiotics may be able to destroy bacteria that initiate the inappropriate immune system response that causes inflammation. These are not a mainstay of therapy but may be used in conjunction with additional therapies.

Anti-inflammatory medications: Corticosteroids or steroids may be used to handle swelling while selecting a long-term treatment plan. Corticosteroids assist in reducing 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 abnormal immune reaction to bacteria and viruses. A partial list of the immunosuppressant medications your Connecticut GI gastroenterologist might prescribe includes azathioprine, infliximab, adalimumab, certolizumab, methotrexate, natalizumab, vedolizumab, and ustekinumab.

Diet: Your gastroenterologist could recommend special nutritional protocols to help with symptoms and aid in entering remission.

Surgery: Sometimes, patients who have Crohn’s disease may require surgery to correct bleeding, infection, fistulas, or blockages if medication is not helping. Others could need surgery to excise the diseased section of the intestine.

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

  • Iron supplements
  • Vitamin B-12 shots
  • Antidiarrheals
  • Calcium and vitamin D supplements

Professional care is available for Crohn's disease in Connecticut. Get in touch with a Connecticut GI location in your community to learn more about possible care options.

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Could Crohn’s disease cause health complications?

Intestinal blockage can occur in those who suffer from Crohn’s disease. A blockage forms because the bowel wall swells or thickens as a result of scar tissue and inflammation. In addition, ulcers can sometimes be the cause of tunnels that might grow through inflamed portions of the intestine to nearby intestinal tissue or, in some cases, other organs.

If you have Crohn’s disease, you may have insufficient amounts of protein, vitamins, or calories in the food you consume. This may occur because you may be unable to absorb nutrients from the food you consume, you have a nauseated stomach preventing you from consuming enough food, or you could be losing protein through the intestine.

Other complications of Crohn’s disease could include:

  • Gallstones
  • Kidney stones
  • Dermatological issues
  • Swelling of the eyes or mouth
  • Arthritis

Can Crohn’s disease be fatal?

Crohn’s disease isn't considered a fatal disease. However, if left unmanaged and untreated, a person with Crohn’s disease may progress to health complications that can become deadly. Connecticut GI may have access to several clinical trials and care programs to help treat the symptoms and improve the lives of all those living with Crohn’s disease.

At Connecticut GI, our team understands the impact Crohn’s disease can have on your general well-being and everyday life. Our board-certified GI specialists are masters at treating gastrointestinal diseases like Crohn’s disease, and our team is committed to delivering expert, personalized service to each of our patients. To get in touch with a specialist in Connecticut who treats Crohn’s disease, please reach out to one of our locations today.

What tests are used to diagnose Crohn's disease?

Diagnosing Crohn’s disease is commonly achieved through one or more tests. Our Connecticut GI team may begin by discussing your health history, signs or symptoms, and family history of Crohn’s or IBD. After performing an exam, they may order endoscopic procedures (such as a colonoscopy and an EGD) and lab testing of fecal and blood samples. MRIs, CT scans, and other diagnostic imaging may also be conducted when trying to diagnois Crohn’s disease.

Is Crohn’s disease a progressive condition?

Crohn’s disease is a chronic, long-lasting condition that can differ among patients. While its symptoms can vary from slight to intense, the severity can also vary. Crohn’s disease can get worse over time, and flare-ups may ensue.

Will Crohn’s disease go away?

Presently, there is no way to cure Crohn’s disease. At times, the disease can enter into remission. Seeking Crohn’s disease treatment and taking measures to reduce inflammation might help manage the condition and reduce its effects.

Does diet have an impact on Crohn’s disease?

Dietary factors do not appear to be the reason behind Crohn’s disease. While there might be certain foods that initiate Crohn’s flares or certain effects, these can range among individual patients. Ask your GI provider about any potential dietary changes you might implement to help relieve the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

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