Ask GI Specialists of Georgia Your IBD Questions
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can put a hamper on your quality of life. When you’re diagnosed with this condition, it’s difficult to see a way out of your pain, discomfort, and inconvenience. At GI Specialists of Georgia, we welcome patients with IBD and work to provide them with the treatment they need. Based in Atlanta, GA, we’re happy to sit down with each patient and educate them on this prevalent disease. You’re not alone in your struggle with IBD, but we also know you have a lot of questions. Browse our most frequently asked questions below or contact us directly for answers.
What Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
This disease refers to two different inflammatory bowel conditions: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal system, while ulcerative colitis tends to be centered on the large intestine and rectum. The symptoms of the two conditions are so similar that it’s difficult even for the professionals to make an exact diagnosis. In general, inflammatory bowel disease symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, fever, fatigue, and weight loss.
Are IBD and Irritable Bowel Syndrome the Same Thing?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is much the same as inflammatory bowel disease. However, they do have a few differences and shouldn’t be used interchangeably. IBS is characterized by many of the same symptoms, such as abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea. Yet, this condition doesn’t include several of the more severe symptoms characteristic of IBD. If you have IBS, you won’t find blood in your stools, experience weight loss, or deal with disturbed sleep patterns, as you may when suffering from IBD.
Could IBD Symptoms Be Caused by Something Else?
Certainly. At GI Specialists of Georgia, we see numerous patients who fear they have inflammatory bowel disease but are being affected by a completely different condition. Your inflammatory bowel disease symptoms might be the result of too much bacteria in the intestine or recent bouts of inflammation and sensitivity in the intestine. These symptoms might also be signs of an infection.
How Do You Get Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
Professionals in this field still aren’t sure exactly what causes inflammatory bowel disease symptoms. Most studies have revealed IBD may be the result of numerous factors, such as genetics or substances in the environment. The theory is as follows: Genetic or environmental factors trigger the immune system and the body’s defenses can’t reset it, resulting in inflammation. This inflammation sets the stage for IBD.
Is There a Cure for IBD?
Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut cure for inflammatory bowel disease. This condition tends to be lifelong but might subside as you get older or enter periods of remission. However, if your IBD is causing you serious discomfort, the team at GI Specialists of Georgia is happy to provide state-of-the-art treatments to lessen your symptoms.
Could Surgery Be a Solution for IBD?
Surgery is not a cure for inflammatory bowel disease, but many patients report reduced symptoms after the procedure. In some cases, we might recommend removing part of the colon or scarred tissue to provide some relief from your pain and inflammation. If medication has done little to alleviate your symptoms, it may be time to ask GI Specialists of Georgia what surgery can do for you. We’ll walk you through the procedure and explain the pros and cons of the different operations.
How Often Should I Schedule a Colonoscopy?
Colonoscopies are a crucial preventative measure for conditions affecting the gastrointestinal system. If you’ve already been diagnosed with IBD, frequent colonoscopies are an excellent idea to check for any changes in your health. How often you need this procedure varies from person to person, but many professionals recommend one every two years. The team at GI Specialists of Georgia will evaluate your symptoms and determine if you need more or fewer colonoscopies in the coming years.
Can I Manage IBD Through My Diet?
A healthy diet goes a long way to reducing inflammatory bowel disease symptoms. However, there’s no one dietary guideline that works for each patient. Your inflammatory bowel disease might be triggered by a slew of foods that other patients have no problems with. Many patients at GI Specialists of Georgia keep a food journal to identify the ingredients that make for a bad bout of IBD. Our Atlanta-based team can help you develop a diet that alleviates your symptoms.