What’s Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes the digestive tract to become irritated, inflamed, and swollen. Crohn’s disease symptoms include severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and rectal bleeding. There is no Crohn’s disease cure, but Crohn’s disease treatment can control your symptoms and help you live a more active life. At GI Specialists of Georgia, we have a team of highly skilled, educated, and trained physicians who have decades of experience in recognizing Crohn’s disease symptoms. We focus on aggressive Crohn’s disease treatment in Atlanta, GA, as well as patient education and lifestyle changes that reduce the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and help our patients live a happier, healthier life. Call us today to schedule a consultation for Crohn’s disease treatment or Crohn’s disease surgery.
What Are Crohn’s Disease Symptoms & Causes?
Crohn’s disease affects around half a million Americans, including men, women, and children. Crohn’s disease usually affects younger people in their late teens, 20s, or early 30s, but the condition can occur anytime. Some physicians consider Crohn’s disease to be an autoimmune disease; however, instead of attacking your immune system, your body attacks a harmless virus, bacteria, or food in your gut. Crohn’s disease is not contagious. You may be at a higher risk of Crohn’s disease if you are a smoker, have a genetic predisposition, if you eat a high-fat diet or processed foods, or have a bacterial infection caused by mycobacterium. Crohn’s disease symptoms include:
- Frequent diarrhea
- Unexplained weight loss
- Bloody feces or rectal bleeding
- Abdominal pain and/or tenderness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Mouth sores
- Joint pain
What Are the Types of Crohn’s Disease?
There are five primary types of Crohn’s disease, and each one affects a different part of the digestive tract:
- Ileocolitis – This is the most common type of Crohn’s disease, affecting the colon and the last part of the small intestine.
- Crohn’s Colitis or Granulomatous Colitis – This type of Crohn’s disease affects only the colon.
- Gastroduodenal Crohn’s Disease – This type of Crohn’s disease affects the stomach and the first part of your small intestine.
- Ileitis – This type of Crohn’s disease affects your ileum.
- Jejunoileitis – This type of Crohn’s disease causes inflammation in the upper half of your small intestine.
How Do GI Specialists of Georgia Treat Crohn’s Disease?
Your Crohn’s disease treatment options will depend on the stage of the disease. Our specialists will conduct a medical screening and assess your age, lifestyle, overall health, medical history, symptoms, and disease progression to determine the right Crohn’s disease treatment plan for you. Our goal is to reduce inflammation and other symptoms, improve your diet and lifestyle, reduce the risk of complications, and help you live an active, happy life. We may recommend one or more medications to treat your Crohn’s disease, including:
- Anti-inflammatory medications like mesalamine, olsalazine, balsalazide, or sulfasalazine.
- Corticosteroids like budesonide, prednisone, or methylprednisolone.
- Immunomodulators like azathioprine or methotrexate.
- Antibiotics like ciprofloxacin or metronidazole.
- Anti-diarrheal drugs like loperamide.
- Biologic medications like adalimumab, certolizumab pegol, infliximab, natalizumab, risankizumab, ustekinumab, vedolizumab, tofacitinib, upadacitinib, or ozanimod.
Once you have begun a medication regimen, we will check with you every few weeks to see how well it works and assess any side effects. If the treatment works, you will continue until you are in remission and likely long term. As there is no cure, symptoms are likely to return if the medication is discontinued. If one Crohn’s disease treatment doesn’t work, we may try others. We will also suggest diet and lifestyle changes and nutritional supplements. You may also be eligible to participate in clinical trials through our research department.
Crohn’s Disease Surgery
If no medication successfully puts your Crohn’s disease symptoms in remission, we may recommend surgical Crohn’s disease treatment. Around 65-75% of people with Crohn’s disease will eventually need surgery. The most common surgical Crohn’s disease treatments are:
- Bowel Resection – During this procedure, a surgeon will remove a diseased or damaged section of your bowel and join two healthy ends together. While this isn’t a Crohn’s disease cure, it can offer you years without Crohn’s disease symptoms. Crohn’s disease often reoccurs at the connection site or anastomosis.
- Ileostomy – If your rectum is too diseased for an anastomosis, the surgeon may need to connect your intestine to the skin of your torso, creating an opening where waste collects in a colostomy pouch.
In addition to surgery, we will also recommend dietary and lifestyle changes, dietary supplements, probiotics, and pain management therapies.
Why Choose GI Specialists of Georgia
At GI Specialists of Georgia, we have a team of highly skilled physicians with decades of experience in diagnosing, treating, and managing diseases and disorders of the digestive system, colon, pancreas, and liver. Our board-certified physicians work in eight convenient office locations in Northwest Atlanta, Georgia, as well as three endoscopy centers. We operate a collaborative environment, and we focus on continuing education opportunities to stay on top of the latest research and advancements in the industry. Our goal is to improve our patient’s lives and health through early intervention, preventive care, education, and aggressive treatment options. We offer comprehensive GI services to treat a wide range of conditions, symptoms, diseases, and disorders.
Schedule a Crohn’s Disease Symptoms Test in Atlanta, GA
Call us today or contact us online to schedule a Crohn’s disease symptoms test in Atlanta, GA. While there is no Crohn’s disease cure, we can assess your symptoms and lifestyle, risk level, medical history, and overall health to determine if you need diagnostic testing or imaging for Crohn’s disease. Once we have made an official diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, we will develop an individualized Crohn’s disease treatment plan.