Crohn’s disease is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It affects the lining of your gastrointestinal tract and causes abdominal pain, changes in bowel movements, and other health issues. The gastroenterology team at Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates, P.A., with locations in Annapolis, Stevensville, Odenton, Bowie, and Pasadena, Maryland, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of Crohn’s disease. Call the office nearest you or book an appointment online today.
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Though the inflammation most often occurs in the small intestine, Crohn’s disease may affect any part of your digestive tract.
The inflammation affects the deeper layers of your GI tract, causing ulcerations that may tunnel through the intestinal wall, creating an opening called a fistula.
Though the exact cause of Crohn’s disease is still under investigation, researchers theorize that the inflammation occurs when the immune cells mistakenly attack and destroy the tissue.
Crohn’s disease is a lifelong condition, but medical treatment and monitoring from the experts at Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates can help you manage the condition and reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups.
Crohn’s disease symptoms vary in type and severity and tend to come and go. Currently, there’s no way to predict when symptoms will occur or how long they’ll last.
Common symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:
Your Crohn’s disease may also affect other parts of your body, causing joint swelling and inflammation, redness in your eyes, or a skin rash.
There’s no single test to diagnose Crohn’s disease. Your gastroenterologist at Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates thoroughly investigates your symptoms so you get an accurate diagnosis.
During your evaluation, your provider reviews your symptoms, medical history, family history, and the types of medications you take. They conduct a physical exam and run various diagnostic tests to confirm or rule out suspected conditions that might explain your symptoms.
The diagnostic tests may include:
Your gastroenterologist reviews your test results and takes all the evidence into account when making a diagnosis.
Your gastroenterologist at Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates focuses on creating a treatment plan that reduces inflammation and your symptoms, prevents complications, and helps you maintain adequate nutrition.
Your treatment may include:
If medications fail to alleviate your symptoms or you have health complications such as an intestinal blockage, your gastroenterologist may recommend surgery to remove the diseased section of your bowel.
However, surgery isn’t a cure for Crohn’s disease, and you may continue to develop areas of inflammation and related symptoms.
For expert care from a compassionate team, call Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. or book an appointment online today.