Do I Have Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that impacts nearly a million Americans. There is no cure for the disease, but it can be treated. Left untreated, it can lead to a number of serious complications.
Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease often appears suddenly and can fall into remission. Symptoms of the disease include diarrhea, bloody stools, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, cramping, mouth sores, and drainage around the anus from an anal fistula. In more severe cases of Crohn’s disease, patients may also experience inflammation of the eyes, joints, and liver.
Causes of Crohn’s Disease
While diet may exacerbate the symptoms of Crohn’s, an exact cause for the disease is unknown. It is hereditary, so if you have a family history of Crohn’s, it’s important to be aware of the risk. It is usually diagnosed in patients before age 30. Smokers are more likely to develop Crohn’s.
Diagnosing Crohn’s Disease
There is no simple test to diagnose Crohn’s disease. Your doctor will need to rule out other possible causes for your symptoms, consider your family history, and perform several diagnostic procedures which may include blood tests, fecal occult blood testing, and a colonoscopy. Additional procedures may also be required.
Treating Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease has no cure, and treatment varies from individual to individual. Treatment is based on minimizing symptoms, improving quality of life, and improving the prognosis of each patient. It is possible to achieve remission, but it requires the patient to commit to dietary and lifestyle changes as well as a commitment to the determined course of treatment, which may include medications and surgery.
If you are experiencing symptoms of Crohn’s disease, visit Allied Digestive Disease Center of Houston. Our team strives to provide excellence in gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition services for patients in North Houston and the surrounding areas. We believe quality care begins with a patient-centered approach to diagnosing and treating both minor and chronic GI conditions. Schedule an appointment at our practice today by calling 832.912.4481 or fill out the form on this page.