Crohn's Disease in Utah
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What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn's disease is a disorder that falls into the category of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This disease causes painful inflammation of the digestive system. The condition normally incorporates the small bowel as well as the colon, but it could possibly impact any portion of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the mouth to the anus. Crohn's disease is unique from the alternate variation of IBD known as ulcerative colitis.
Crohn's disease often affects the whole of the bowel wall and often spreads to more interior levels of the affected bowel anatomy. This GI affliction is typically excessively painful and in many cases can lead to even more serious complications. If you or a loved one suffer from the challenges of Crohn's disease, we implore you to contact Utah Gastroenterology. Our board-certified GI doctors in Utah are pledged to assist our patients in improving their quality of life using reliable treatments.
What causes Crohn's disease?
The medical community has not yet identified a specific culprit behind Crohn's disease. There are, however, some known factors that appear to affect the onset of Crohn's disease and its symptoms.
- Genetics: An individual may inherit genetic material from a parent/or parents which set you at a greater likelihood of developing Crohn's disease. As much as 20% of people with Crohn's disease have a relative who also has the disease or a different inflammatory bowel disorder. It is most usually seen in people somewhere within the ages of 20 and 30.
- Immune system: It is possible that internal viruses or bacteria might initiate Crohn's disease. When your body activates the immune system to combat a bacteria or virus, an abnormal immune system reaction can attack the cells in the digestive system as well. As a result, portions of the small bowel (as well as the colon) can become inflamed.
What are some common symptoms of Crohn's disease?
Crohn's disease symptoms often develop slowly over time, and they can range in severity from mild to extreme. Some of the most common symptoms are:
- Disruption of normal menstrual cycle
- Poor development in children
- Bloody stool
- Cramps in the stomach
- Sudden loss of weight
- Rectal bleeding
- Abdominal pain
- Mouth sores
- Drainage or pain near or around the anus
Contact Utah Gastroenterology promptly if you notice lasting changes regarding your bowel habits, or if you have any of the below-listed symptoms:
- Persistent diarrhea
- Unexplained weight loss
- Severe and/or persistent and/or severe abdominal pain
- Blood in your stool
- Fever extending more than a day
How is Crohn's disease treated?
Treatments for Crohn's disease may not look the same for each patient, and there is currently no permanent cure for the illness. The main objectives of Crohn's disease treatment are to control the inflammation that triggers symptoms, and then achieve and maintain remission. In the best cases, the disease will enter into long-term remission in a patient who receives proper care. Crohn's disease might be treated with one or a combination of the following treatment approaches.
Antibiotics: Antibiotics may be able to kill bacteria that trigger the atypical immune system reaction that causes inflammation. These are not a mainstay of therapy but may be used in collaboration with other therapies.
Anti-inflammatory medications: Steroids or corticosteroids may be administered to reduce inflammation during the process of selecting a long-term treatment option. Corticosteroids help reduce inflammation in one's body and can also be utilized in combination with immune system suppressants.
Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: These medications address the body's inappropriate immune reaction to viruses and bacteria. Some of the immunosuppressant drugs your Utah Gastroenterology gastroenterologist might prescribe include: azathioprine, infliximab, adalimumab, certolizumab, methotrexate, natalizumab, vedolizumab, and ustekinumab.
Diet: Your gastroenterologist may recommend special nutritional protocols to help with symptoms and assist in the induction of remission.
Surgery: In some cases, individuals who have Crohn's disease could require surgery to correct blockages, fistulas, infections, or bleeding if medication is not performing as hoped. Others might need surgery to excise the diseased part of the intestine.
Medications for symptoms: Specific medications and supplements may also be recommended to help manage Crohn's disease symptoms. These might include:
- Vitamin B-12 shots
- Vitamin D and calcium supplements
- Iron supplements
Medical care is available for Crohn's disease in Utah. Call Utah Gastroenterology to learn more about potential treatment options.
Could Crohn's disease cause health complications?
One potentially dangerous complication of Crohn's disease is the possible development of an intestinal blockage. A blockage forms because the intestinal wall thickens or swells from scar tissue and inflammation. Also, ulcers can cause tunnels that could form through inflamed areas of the bowel to surrounding intestinal tissue or, in some cases, other organs.
If you suffer from Crohn's disease, you could lack sufficient levels of calories, protein, or vitamins in your diet. This may occur because your body is unable to absorb nutrients from the food you consume, you have an upset stomach keeping you from eating enough sustenance, or you could be suffering a loss of protein through the intestine.
Additional complications caused by Crohn's disease might include:
- Skin problems
- Kidney stones
- Swelling in the mouth or eyes
Is Crohn's disease fatal?
Crohn's disease is not a serious threat to your health in and of itself. However, if ignored, over time, someone with Crohn's disease could develop health complications that can be deadly. Utah Gastroenterology may have access to multiple clinical trials and care programs to help treat the symptoms and better the lives of all those living with Crohn's disease.
Expert treatment for Crohn's disease
The staff at Utah Gastroenterology understands how conditions like Crohn's disease and similar disorders can disrupt your day-to-day life and bring down your overall well-being. Our experienced team of gastroenterologists specializes in treating GI diseases such as Crohn's disease, and our providers are dedicated to offering personalized, expert care to each of our patients. To get in touch with a physician in Utah who can help you with Crohn's disease, we urge you to reach out to our team today.
Crohn's Disease FAQs
How is Crohn’s disease diagnosed?
Crohn's disease may be detected through one or more tests. Our Utah Gastroenterology providers may start the process by learning about your health history, the signs and symptoms you have noticed, and any familial history of Crohn’s or IBD. After conducting a physical examination, they may order endoscopic exams (like an EGD and a colonoscopy) and labwork involving fecal and blood samples. MRIs, CT scans, and additional imaging procedures might also be conducted to diagnose Crohn’s disease.
Is Crohn’s disease a progressive condition?
Crohn’s disease is a chronic, often lifelong medical condition that can differ from patient to patient. Though its symptoms may range from slight to acute, its severity can vary. Crohn’s disease can worsen over time, and flare-ups can occur.
Is Crohn’s disease curable?
Currently, there is no method of curing Crohn’s disease. For some people, the disease might go into remission when it is inactive. Undergoing Crohn's disease treatment and working to diminish inflammation may help control the condition and alleviate its effects.
Can diet impact Crohn’s disease?
Dietary factors do not seem to be the reason behind Crohn’s disease. Although some foods may trigger Crohn’s flares or cause certain effects, these can vary from patient to patient. Ask your GI specialist about any dietary changes you might adopt to help decrease the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
Dr Jones made me feel listened to and that I was in charge of my own care. I appreciate that she didn’t talk down to me. Friendly people very nice experience.
What pleasant and helpful people here! Everyone is cheerful and patient and concerned about your care.
Dr. Moore is an outstanding G.I.! I have Crohns disease and I've been to see many, many G.I. doctors. Dr. Moore listened to me, really listened. He didn't make me feel rushed. He validated my concerns and proposed a treatment plan that was open to my input. It's refreshing to talk to a doctor that is knowledgeable AND respects what the patient has to say! I'm looking forward to future appointments and continued care!
Dr. Mark Boschert has been my GI doctor for over 12 years. I have had Ulcerative Colitis and now Crohn's Disease with all the possible complications there could be. Dr. Mark Boschert is very responsive to my health conditions and his nurse (Becky) reruns my phone calls within a couple of hours. I highly recommend Dr. Mark Boschert!
I've been seeing Dr. Frechfor years and he is an excellent GI doctor. He shows great care and interest with my concerns about my condition. His depth of experience provides vast knowledge on how to take care of GI conditions to achieve the best possible outcomes. Highly recommend him to anyone needing his skills and expertise.