crohns disease doctor

Crohns Disease

Crohn’s disease is a common Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). Although there is currently no cure for IBD, the symptoms they cause can be treated following diagnosis. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are thought to affect 300,000 people in the UK.

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Consultation with a specialist who can help with your Crohns disease will get you on the road to recovery.

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    What is Crohn’s Disease?

    Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition that can affect any part of the digestive system, although it is most common in the small intestine and colon. Crohn’s disease is generally the more complex of the two inflammatory bowel diseases and surgery is typically required for more severe cases. Like ulcerative colitis, the underlying cause is poorly understood, although dietary, genetic and environmental factors, as well as stress and smoking, are implicated. Symptoms can range in severity so it is essential to see a GI doctor for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

    When Crohns disease is active common symptoms can include:

    • Diarrhoea
    • Bloody stools, or blood when going for a poo
    • Vomiting and nausea
    • Tiredness and lack of energy
    • Abdominal pains caused by inflammation and ulceration in the digestive tract
    • Bloating
    • A low-grade fever
    • Sudden weight loss, often caused due to the body not properly absorbing nutrients from food
    • Reduced appetite and weight loss
    • Pain around the anal areas

    There are also other general symptoms such as mouth ulcers, joint pains, rashes and eye-related symptoms.

     

     

    Crohn's Disease Symptoms
    Risk Factors for Crohn's Disease May Include

    Whilst Crohns disease can affect anyone there are some factors that will make you more susceptible.
    Age. Crohn’s disease tends to affect younger people with the majority of people developing the condition are diagnosed before they are 30.
    Family history. Risk increases if a first-degree relative is affected by the condition.
    Smoking. Smoking is known to increase your chances of developing Crohn’s disease.

    IBD Diagnosis & Tests

    A gastroenterologist carries out investigations to diagnose IBD, including Crohn’s and colitis. Whilst IBD can arise in people of any age, it is commonly diagnosed between the age of 15 and 30. There are an estimated 5 million people that suffer from IBD, around the world, with 300,000 in the UK alone.

    Diagnostic tests vary according to your symptoms, but may include:

    • Blood and stool tests
    • A colonoscopy, which is a specific type of endoscopy that allows the doctor to explore inside your bowel
    • Upper GI endoscopy is used to look for problems in the upper gastrointestinal tract
    • Flexible sigmoidoscopy is used to examine the lower end of your colon

    Many cases are not diagnosed as symptoms cause embarrassment that can result in people not seeking the help they need and deserve. If you have been suffering in silence, seek the medical attention you deserve. Accurate diagnosis of IBD is vital as symptoms that are left untreated can develop into wider health issues, and treatment is generally more successful the earlier it begins.

    Crohn's Disease Treatment
    Whilst there is no cure for IBD medication can be extremely useful in managing your symptoms Most patients can expect an improvement in their symptoms and quality of life once the correct treatments have been started

    Medication typically includes:

    • Aminosalicylates (5-ASAs)
    • Steroids
    • Thiopurines
    • Biologic agents, given via injection, help suppress the immune system

    If the inflammation cannot be halted sufficiently with medication, and it results in narrowing of the bowel (stricturing) causing increased pain, surgery may be required. During surgery, the inflamed or narrowed part of the bowel may need to be removed. The extent of surgery depends on which part of the bowel is affected, and what is the best option for the patient. This decision is taken after appropriate radiological investigations have been performed and following multi-disciplinary discussion.

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    Doctors Who Can Treat Crohn's Disease
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