Crohn's Disease in Thibodaux, LA

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Crohn’s disease is part of a group of conditions known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This condition is the cause of uncomfortable swelling in the digestive system. The disease commonly includes the small intestine and colon, but it could have ramifications on any part of the GI tract from the mouth to the anus. Crohn’s disease differs from ulcerative colitis, which is a condition that falls into inflammatory bowel disease.

Crohn’s disease typically affects the entirety of the bowel wall and sometimes spreads into more interior portions of the GI tract. This GI condition is can be excessively painful and in many cases can lead to severe complications. If you or someone you love suffer from the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, please reach out to one of our Digestive Health Center locations. Our board-certified gastroenterologists in Thibodaux, LA have pledged to assist our patients to increase their quality of life through effective treatment regimens.

The cause behind Crohn’s disease is currently unknown. However, there are a few variables that seem to play a role in the development of Crohn’s disease and its many challenges.

  • Genetics: An individual can inherit genetic material from a parent/or parents that give a greater risk of having Crohn’s disease. As high as 20% of individuals with Crohn’s disease are related to someone who also has the condition or another inflammatory bowel disease. It is most often seen in those between the ages of 20 and 30.
  • Immune system: It is believed that internal bacteria or viruses can cause Crohn’s disease. When the human body initiates the immune system to engage a virus or bacteria, an unusual immune system reaction can attack the cells in the digestive tract as well. As a result, portions of the small bowel, as well as the colon, become irritated.

Typically, symptoms related to Crohn’s disease develop over time and can range from mild to severe. Crohn’s disease symptoms might be:

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Stomach cramps
  • Sudden loss of weight
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Pain or drainage around or near the anus
  • Loss of normal menstrual cycle
  • Slowed development in children
  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Blood in the stool
  • Constipation

You should contact a Digestive Health Center near you right away if you notice persistent changes in your bowel habits, or if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Persistent and/or severe abdominal pain
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Fever that lasts for more than a day
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Bloody stool

At this time, there is no cure for Crohn’s disease and treatment varies for each individual. The main goals of Crohn’s disease treatments are to control the inflammation that causes symptoms and then achieve, and maintain, remission. In the best cases, the disease can move into long-term remission in a person who is given proper care. Crohn’s disease can be treated with one or a combination of the below-listed treatment options:

Antibiotics: Antibiotics can destroy bacteria that trigger the atypical immune system reaction, which causes inflammation. They are not the preferred form of treatment but may be used in coordination with additional treatments.

Anti-inflammatory medications: Corticosteroids or steroids can be employed to control swelling while choosing a long-term treatment plan. Corticosteroids help reduce swelling in the body and can also be used in tandem with immune system suppressants.

Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: These medications tackle the body’s abnormal immune reaction to viruses and bacteria. An example of the immunosuppressant drugs your Digestive Health Center GI provider could prescribe include: azathioprine, infliximab, adalimumab, certolizumab, methotrexate, natalizumab, vedolizumab, and ustekinumab.

Nutrition: The gastroenterologist may recommend a special diet to help with symptoms and aid in inducing remission.

Surgery: Occasionally, people with Crohn’s disease could require surgery to treat blockages, fistulas, infection, or bleeding if medication is not helping. Others could need surgery to extract the damaged part of the intestine.

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

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

Help is available for Crohn's disease in Thibodaux, LA. Our Digestive Health Center team is ready to help you explore all of your treatment options.

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Intestinal blockage is sometimes seen in people who have Crohn’s disease. A blockage occurs when the intestinal wall thickens or swells as a result of scar tissue and inflammation. Additionally, ulcers can cause tunnels that could form through swollen parts of the bowel to surrounding bowel tissues or in some cases, other organs.

If you suffer from Crohn’s disease, you may have an insufficient amount of calories, protein, or vitamins in your diet. This may occur because you may be unable to absorb nutrients from the food you consume, you have a nauseated stomach keeping you from eating a sufficient amount of food, or you might be suffering a loss of protein through the intestine.

Additional complications caused by Crohn’s disease can include:

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

Crohn’s disease is not considered to be a fatal disease. Digestive Health Center providers may have access to multiple clinical studies and care programs to help address symptoms and better the lives of those living with Crohn’s disease.

Here at Digestive Health Center, our team understands the effects Crohn’s disease can have on your general well-being and day-to-day life. Our board-certified gastroenterologists specialize in treating gastrointestinal diseases like Crohn’s disease, and our team is devoted to providing personalized care to every one of our patients. To request a consultation with a provider in Thibodaux, LA who can help you with Crohn’s disease, we urge you to reach out to our team today.

What tests are used to confirm Crohn's disease?

Confirming a Crohn's disease diagnosis is generally performed through a combination of tests. Our Digestive Health Center providers may begin by reviewing your medical history, symptoms, and any family history of Crohn’s or IBD. After performing an examination, they may prescribe endoscopic exams (such as a colonoscopy and an EGD) and lab work involving stool and blood samples. MRIs, CT scans, and additional diagnostic imaging might also be performed to diagnose Crohn’s disease.

Is Crohn’s disease a progressive condition?

Crohn’s disease is a chronic, long-lasting health condition that can differ from patient to patient. Even though its symptoms can range from slight to intense, the intensity can fluctuate. This disease can become worse over time, and flare-ups may occur.

Can Crohn’s disease go away?

Presently, there is no cure for Crohn’s disease. In some patients, the condition might fall into remission when it is not active. Undergoing Crohn's disease treatment and taking steps to decrease inflammation may help manage the condition and minimize its effects.

Do dietary factors impact Crohn’s disease?

Diet does not seem to cause Crohn’s disease. Although some foods might initiate Crohn's flare-ups or specific effects, these can vary from person to person. Ask your GI specialist about any potential modifications to your diet you might try to help alleviate the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

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