Crohn's Disease in Denver, CO
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What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn's disease is the cause of uncomfortable irritation of the digestive tract. It is just one of the conditions that can occur with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The disease generally incorporates the small bowel as well as the colon, but may affect any area of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the mouth to the anus. While sometimes mistaken as ulcerative colitis, these conditions are actually different, although they both are forms of IBD.
Crohn’s disease can affect the entirety of the intestinal wall and sometimes extends to deeper portions of the affected intestinal tissue. This GI affliction is often extremely painful and can possibly grow into more serious complications. If you or someone you love deal with the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, please reach out to Denver Digestive Health Specialists. Our board-certified gastroenterologists are dedicated to helping individuals with Crohn's disease in Denver, CO, have a better quality of life by reducing symptoms.
What are some causes of Crohn's disease?
The specific root of Crohn’s disease is currently unknown. There are some variables that seem to influence the onset of Crohn’s disease and its many challenges, however. Those include:
- Immune system: Internal viruses or bacteria may be likely to initiate Crohn’s disease. When your body incites the immune system to combat a bacteria or virus, an abnormal immune system response may attack the cells found in the digestive tract as well. As a result, parts of the small bowel and colon may become irritated.
- Genetics: An individual could inherit genes from a parent that leave you at a higher chance of developing Crohn’s disease. As many as 20% of those with Crohn’s disease have a family member who also has been diagnosed with the condition or a similar inflammatory bowel disease. It is most common in individuals between the ages of 20 and 30.
What are some common symptoms of Crohn’s disease?
Most symptoms related to Crohn’s disease manifest over time, and they range from mild to severe. Crohn’s disease symptoms may include:
- Disruption of normal menstrual cycle
- Cramps in the stomach
- Sores in the mouth
- Sudden weight loss
- Poor development in children
- Rectal bleeding
- Drainage or pain near or around the anus
- Bloody stool
- Pain in the abdomen
You should contact Denver Digestive Health Specialists immediately if you become aware of persisting changes regarding your bowel habits, or if you experience any of the below-listed symptoms:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Fever that lasts for more than one day
- Ongoing diarrhea
- Persistent and/or severe abdominal pain
- Bloody stool
How is Crohn’s disease typically treated?
There is, at this time, no cure for Crohn’s disease, and its treatment will likely vary for each individual. The primary objectives of Crohn’s disease treatments are to manage the swelling that initiates symptoms and then reach and maintain remission. In the best cases, the disease can move into long-term remission in a person who receives proper care. Crohn’s disease may be treated with any one, or more, of the following treatment options.
- Antibiotics: Antibiotics may be able to kill bacteria that trigger the inappropriate immune system response that is to blame for inflammation. These should be used in coordination with other therapies for optimal results.
- Anti-inflammatory medications: Steroids or corticosteroids can be employed to control inflammation while selecting a long-term treatment plan. Corticosteroids help reduce swelling in the body and can be utilized in addition to immune system suppressors.
- Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: These medications tackle the body’s unusual immune response to viruses and bacteria. Some of the immunosuppressant drugs a gastroenterologist may prescribe include: infliximab, adalimumab, azathioprine, certolizumab, methotrexate, natalizumab, ustekinumab, and vedolizumab.
- Nutrition: Your Denver Digestive Health Specialists gastroenterologist may recommend special nutritional protocols to help with symptoms and aid in entering remission.
- Surgery: Some patients with Crohn’s disease could need surgery to manage blockages, fistulas, infections, or bleeding if medication is not helping. Others might necessitate surgery to extract the damaged portion of the intestine.
- Medications for symptoms: Certain supplements and medications might also be recommended to assist in the management of Crohn’s disease symptoms. These might include:
- Iron supplements
- Calcium and vitamin D supplements
- Vitamin B-12 shots
Does Crohn’s disease cause health complications?
Intestinal blockage has been known to manifest in those who have Crohn’s disease. A blockage forms when the intestinal wall swells or thickens as a result of inflammation and scar tissue. In addition, ulcers can sometimes cause tunnels that may grow through inflamed segments of the bowel to surrounding bowel tissues or other organs.
If you have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, you could have insufficient stores of calories, protein, or vitamins in your diet. This might be due to the fact that you may not be able to absorb nutrients from the food you consume, you experience an upset stomach preventing you from eating enough sustenance, or you may be suffering a loss of protein through the intestine.
Additional complications caused by Crohn’s disease sometimes include:
- Skin problems
- Kidney stones
- Inflammation in the eyes or mouth
Is Crohn's disease fatal?
Crohn’s disease isn't in and of itself a fatal disease. However, if left unmanaged and untreated, given some time, a person who has Crohn’s disease could develop health problems that could be fatal. Denver Digestive Health Specialists may have access to multiple clinical studies and care programs to help control the symptoms and better the lives of all those living with Crohn’s disease.
Personalized treatment for Crohn's disease
At Denver Digestive Health Specialists, our team of board-certified gastroenterology specialists understands the effects Crohn’s disease can have on your overall wellness and everyday life. Our physician-led network of GI providers treats gastrointestinal conditions like Crohn’s disease daily, and our team is devoted to offering expert, personalized care to every one of our patients. To get in touch with a provider who specializes in conditions like Crohn's disease in Denver, CO, please reach out to one of our locations near you today.
Crohn's Disease FAQs
What tests are used to diagnose Crohn's disease?
Confirming a Crohn's disease diagnosis is commonly performed through a combination of testing methods. Our gastrointestinal doctors may begin by learning about your health history, symptoms, and any family history of Crohn’s or IBD. After providing a physical examination, they may order endoscopic tests (such as a colonoscopy and an EGD) and laboratory testing of stool and blood samples. CT scans, MRIs, and other imaging procedures may also be used to confirm a Crohn's disease diagnosis.
Is Crohn’s disease progressive?
Crohn’s disease is a long-lasting, chronic health condition that can differ from individual to individual. Though the symptoms of this disease may vary from mild to intense, the severity can also differ. Crohn’s disease can worsen as time goes on, and flares might arise.
Does Crohn’s disease ever go away?
There is no known way to cure Crohn’s disease. At times, the disease may go into remission if it is not active. Undergoing treatment for Crohn's disease and taking steps to diminish inflammation might help manage the condition and reduce its symptoms.
Do dietary factors have an impact on Crohn’s disease?
Diet does not seem to cause Crohn’s disease. There might be certain types of foods that initiate Crohn’s flareups or certain symptoms; however, these can differ from person to person. Talk with your GI physician about any possible changes to your diet you might try to help control the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
Dr. Siegel has been a intricate part in changing my life forever! Four and a half years ago I was referred to him by my primary care doctor due the outcome of my annual blood test. The real conversations we had together in that first year were not easy but necessary. He kept me motivated to stay focused on my health and taught me to be patient. I feel like he was a coach guiding me through this experience. In my opinion lifestyle change is one of the more difficult things to do. No buddy likes change, but in the end you feel better for doing it. Well, I have to say I am healthier than I have been in 20 years and I owe so much of that to Dr Siegel. Thank you for all the support over the years Doctor!
Dr. Siegel give us enough time to discuss our needs and he sincerely cares how we feel. He is also very knowledgable and tries very hard to improve our health.
Dr. Miller was very professional. He asked lots of questions to better analyze my problem. Very thorough. This was only the second time I was in his office and happy both times. I highly recommend Dr. Miller for any gastro problems.
smart, kind and thorough, highly recommend
I am 41 years old and was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and Psoriasis all at the age of 15 years old. My mother was amazing, she took me to Mayo Clinic, Cedars Sinai and found the best GI doctors she could. My mom was ahead of the curve, she did not believe nor listen to the GI doctor who said that diet was not that big of a deal and lifestyle, it was all about medication medication.. she got me a dietician, a nutritionist also a doctor who had Crohn's Disease himself which was amazing and such a help going through all of that at a young age... Well from 23 years old to 41 years old i controlled all of my diseases with my diet and my lifestyle, hospitalized many many times but i would never allow surgery on my stomach... i took Asacol like 30 pills daily then humira, remicade stelara and some others all of them before 25 and hated the side effects.. so all these years i have not found a GI that spoke about foods and diet and all of that until i met DR. SIEGEL.... wow when i met him i honestly felt like I finally have someone who studies and is up to speed on all the new treatments for my diseases. He is by far the best GI i have ever been to and also he is amazing with bed side talk and relating to the patient... We actually are trying some medication and i cannot believe no side effects and it has improved areas i did not believe was even possible anymore, i just accepted a certain level and was good with it.. Since seeing him i have seen more data and research on foods (thank god for my mother I have been eating this diet my whole life) and i really feel amazing and i am going to share all of this on my website so others know about lifestyle and foods that doctors never ever shared or believed in because they simply stopped learning and believed medication medication etc.... Thank you Dr. Siegel you really have improved and changed my life !