Crohn's Disease in Indianapolis, IN

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Crohn's disease is one of a larger group of ailments classified as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Crohn's disease is the cause of painful inflammation of the digestive tract. The condition most commonly includes the small intestine and colon, but it has the potential to affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the mouth to the anus. Crohn's disease is unique from the alternate type of IBD referred to as ulcerative colitis.

Crohn's disease can affect the whole of the bowel wall and often extends into deeper layers of the involved intestinal wall. This GI affliction is typically excessively painful and can possibly lead to more serious complications. If you or someone you love is plagued with the challenges of Crohn's disease, we strongly suggest you reach out to Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Our board-certified gastroenterologists in Indianapolis, IN are committed to helping our patients increase their quality of life through effective treatment regimens.

The factors that lead to the development of Crohn's disease are still largely a mystery. However, there are some known factors that seem to influence the presentation of Crohn's disease and its many challenges.

  • Genetics: You could inherit genes from a parent/or parents that place you at a higher chance of having Crohn's disease. As many as 20% of those with Crohn's disease are related to someone who also shares the disease or a different inflammatory bowel disease. It is most often found in individuals somewhere within the ages of 20 and 30.
  • Immune system: It is possible that internal viruses or bacteria might activate Crohn's disease. When the body incites the immune system to engage a virus or bacteria, an abnormal immune reaction can attack the cells in the digestive system as well. A result of this can be that portions of the small intestine and the colon come to be inflamed.

Most symptoms related to Crohn's disease tend to manifest slowly, with effects ranging from mild to extreme. Crohn's disease symptoms can include:

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

You should contact Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology promptly if you notice lasting changes to your bowel habits, or if you have any of the following list of symptoms:

  • Persistent and/or severe abdominal pain
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Bloody stool
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Fever extending for more than one day

At the present time, there is no known cure for Crohn's disease, and treatments vary for each individual. The primary aims of Crohn's disease treatment are to control the swelling that triggers symptoms and then reach and maintain remission. The best-case scenario is that the disease will enter into long-term remission in a person who receives correct care. Crohn's disease can be treated with any one of or a combination of the following treatment options:

Antibiotics: Antibiotics can help destroy bacteria that initiate the unusual immune system reaction that is to blame for inflammation. These are not a mainstay of therapy but may be used in collaboration with other therapies.

Anti-inflammatory medications: Corticosteroids or steroids can be administered to control swelling during the process of implementing a long-term treatment plan. Corticosteroids assist in the reduction of inflammation in the body and can also be utilized in conjunction with immune system suppressors.

Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: These therapies address the body’s inappropriate immune reaction to viruses and bacteria. An example of the immunosuppressant medications your Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology gastroenterologist could prescribe include: methotrexate, natalizumab, vedolizumab, ustekinumab,azathioprine, infliximab, adalimumab, and certolizumab.

Nutrition: Your gastroenterologist could recommend special nutritional protocols to alleviate symptoms and aid in sending the disease into remission.

Surgery: Occasionally, people with Crohn's disease may need surgery to correct bleeding, infection, fistulas, or blockages if medication is not performing as hoped. Others could require surgery to extract the damaged section of the intestine.

Medications that treat the symptoms: Specific medications and supplements could also be recommended to help manage Crohn's disease symptoms. These might include:

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

Help is available for Crohn's disease in Indianapolis, IN. Call Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology today to find out more about potential treatment options.

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Intestinal blockages have been observed in some people who suffer from Crohn's disease. A blockage forms because the intestinal wall thickens or swells as a result of inflammation and scar tissue. Also, ulcers can cause tunnels that might grow through inflamed portions of the intestine to surrounding intestinal tissue or possibly other organs.

If you have Crohn's disease, you might lack sufficient stores of calories, protein, or vitamins in your diet. This may occur because you may be unable to absorb nutrients from your food, you suffer from an upset stomach keeping you from consuming enough food, or you might be losing protein through the intestine.

Additional complications caused by Crohn's disease can include:

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

On its own, Crohn's disease is not considered a fatal condition. However, if left unmanaged and untreated, over time, an individual with Crohn's disease can develop health complications that can be deadly. Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology may have access to several clinical trials and treatment programs to help address the symptoms and improve the lives of all those living with Crohn’s disease.

At Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology, we know how Crohn's disease can upend your daily life and impact your well-being. Our board-certified gastroenterologists specialize in treating GI conditions like Crohn's disease, and our team is dedicated to providing personalized, expert care to each of our patients. To get in touch with a physician in Indianapolis, IN who can help you with Crohn's disease, we encourage you to reach out to our office today.

What tests are used to diagnose Crohn's disease?

The detection of Crohn's disease is commonly accomplished with a combination of testing methods. The Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology team may start the diagnostic process by discussing your medical history, the symptoms you are experiencing, and any familial history of IBD or Crohn's. After providing a physical exam, they may order endoscopic procedures (such as a colonoscopy and/or an EGD) and laboratory testing of blood and stool samples. CT scans, MRIs, and other diagnostic imaging may also be conducted to help diagnose Crohn's disease.

Is Crohn’s disease an ongoing condition?

Crohn’s disease is a chronic, long-lasting condition that can vary from patient to patient. Even though the symptoms of this disease may range from slight to severe, the severity can also vary. Crohn's disease can worsen as time goes by, and flare-ups can arise.

Can Crohn’s disease be cured?

At this time, there is no method of curing Crohn’s disease. For some people, the disorder might be in remission if it is not in an active state. Undergoing treatment for Crohn's disease and working to reduce inflammation could help manage the condition and decrease its symptoms.

Does diet have an impact on Crohn’s disease?

Dietary factors do not appear to cause Crohn’s disease. Though there may be certain foods that provoke Crohn's flare-ups or specific effects, these can differ from individual to individual. Ask your GI doctor about any possible dietary changes you might adopt to help control the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

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