Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Crohn’s disease treatment at the Garden City, NY, and East Setauket, NY, offices of Colon & Rectal Surgical Specialists of New York includes different options such as medication, bowel rest, or surgery, as determined by the severity of your case.
The disease causes inflammation or swelling in the GI tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, diarrhea, and weight loss. It typically affects the small intestine, but it is possible for it to affect any part of the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus. Due to symptoms being similar to other inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis, diagnosing Crohn’s disease can be difficult. Our doctors have the experience and expertise to properly diagnose and treat your case.
What is Crohn’s Disease?
This inflammatory bowel disease affects as many as 700,000 Americans, equally between men and women. Although it may affect patients of all ages, it is more prevalent and likely to develop in patients between 15 and 35 years old.
The cause of the disease is undetermined, yet some research suggests that diet, stress, genetics, or environmental factors may be contributors. Crohn’s disease occurs when a healthy, normal functioning GI tract is attacked by the immune system. The GI tract naturally contains harmless bacteria that aid in digestion. However, when they are mistaken by the immune system as unwanted and harmful invaders, your body’s cells move from your blood to your intestines, causing inflammation. Eventually, the inflammation and thickening of your intestinal wall will result in various symptoms.
Depending on the severity Crohn's disease and the symptoms of each individual patient, we will develop a customized treatment plan that best suits your needs.
Common Signs and Symptoms
Patients may experience mild to severe symptoms of Crohn’s disease, with long periods of remission between. Some of the most common signs and symptoms include:
- Abdominal cramping and pain
- Nausea and loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Additionally, Crohn’s disease can exist anywhere within the GI tract, and some patients may experience pain and soreness in their joints, skin tenderness, and eye irritation.
Depending on the severity of the disease and the symptoms of each individual patient, we will develop a customized treatment plan that best suits your needs. Following a thorough examination, we will advise you on which treatment you should undergo. Possible recommendations may include:
Medication: Although medications will not cure the disease, we can offer various types to prolong periods of remission and improve your overall quality of life. Some of the medications may help control inflammation, and help reduce activity of the immune system.
Bowel Rest: For more severe cases, it may be necessary to rest the bowels for up to several weeks. If this treatment is recommended, it will involve feeding the patient intravenously with clear liquids to help give the bowels the time needed to heal.
Surgery: Nearly 20 percent of patients with Crohn’s disease will require a surgical procedure to treat the complications and improve symptoms. A surgical procedure may treat severe bleeding, bowel obstructions, and more.
Schedule a Consultation
Our team of surgical experts are here to help our patients achieve a higher quality of life. Although we cannot cure Crohn's disease, we can help add comfort during flare-ups, increase the time between flare-ups, and offer the very best treatment possible. To learn more and to schedule a consultation, please contact our office today.