Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that results in inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Here at Lehigh Gastroenterology Associates, we understand the physical, mental and emotional toll that Crohn’s disease can have on a person’s health and wellbeing. While there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, our gastroenterologists can help map out a customized treatment plan that can help you manage your symptoms and feel your best.
What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory condition that can affect any part of the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus; however, the small intestines is usually most affected by this condition. Symptoms of Crohn’s can range from mild to debilitating, and common symptoms include,
- Abdominal pain
- Stomach cramping
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
- Chronic diarrhea
- Rectal bleeding
Crohn’s causes flare-ups with bouts of remission, so it is possible for someone with Crohn’s to go months with little to no symptoms.
Can anyone develop Crohn’s disease?
This condition affects both men and women equally and more than 780,000 Americans are living with Crohn’s. Of course, Crohn’s disease is more likely to be diagnosed in people who have siblings or a parent with inflammatory bowel disease. Most Crohn’s cases are also diagnosed between the ages of 15 to 35.
How is Crohn’s disease treated?
Since this condition is chronic, this means that our gastroenterologists will provide ongoing treatment to help you better manage your symptoms and to reduce the number and severity of your flare-ups. We will work with you to find the right medication, lifestyle adjustments and other treatment options to help you better control Crohn’s disease. Common treatment options include,
- Nutritional and dietary changes
- Medication designed to reduce inflammation of the small intestines to minimize or eliminate symptoms such as diarrhea, cramping and abdominal pain
- Combination therapy, which includes the use of two or more medications such as immunomodulators and biologics to increase treatment efficacy
- Surgery to remove diseased tissue or to treat fistulas, intestinal obstructions or other complications
Living with Crohn’s disease? Noticing the warning signs of inflammatory bowel disease? If so, it’s time to call Lehigh Gastroenterology Associates today at (610) 379-0443 to learn more about your options.