Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that is defined as a chronic illness of the intestines and bowels. Many patient with Crohn’s disease have sores or ulcers along the intestinal wall or bowels and the effects of this disease can travel to other parts of the body, including the esophagus, stomach, and the mouth. Symptoms depend on the severity and location of the disease. Treatment options include medication, changes in dietary habits, and surgery.
Recognizing Crohn’s Disease Symptoms
Some of the most common symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:
• Bloody stools
• Chronic diarrhea
• Abdominal pain and tenderness
• Feeling of fullness in the stomach
• Unexplained weight loss
• Sensation of incomplete evacuation
• Frequent bouts fo constipation
Surgery for Crohn’s Disease
The majority of patients need to undergo surgery for Crohn’s disease. Surgery alone may not cure the problem but it can improve overall quality of life. Surgery typically involves removing the diseased section of the bowel and joining the two ends of healthy bowels together. Combining surgery with certain medication and lifestyle changes can help reduce or eliminate symptoms.
Other Treatment Options for Crohn’s Disease
Some patients benefit from a combination of treatments and therapies or Crohn’s disease. Medication that suppresses the immune system can help keep inflammation and flare ups under control. Medication options include aminosalicylates (5-ASA), corticosteroids, immunomodulators, antibiotics, and biologic therapies.
Patients diagnosed with Crohn’s disease may also be able to keep symptoms under control by paying attention to their diet. Since Crohn’s disease can reduce the appetite, it is even more important for patients to eat a nutrient-rich diet. Eating soft and bland foods can reduce gastrointestinal discomfort and the risk of flare ups.
Educating yourself about Crohn’s disease and exploring lifestyle changes that can reduce inflammation in the body can make it easier to manage the effects of this disease. Learn more about Crohn’s disease treatment options by scheduling your appointment at our Los Angeles or Glendale office today.