Crohn's Disease in Tulsa, OK
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What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease is part of a group of diseases that fall under inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It often causes uncomfortable inflammation in your digestive tract. The disease usually affects the small intestine and the colon, but could impact any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Crohn’s disease is not the same as another variation of IBD called ulcerative colitis.
Crohn’s disease can affect the entire bowel wall and can even spread to the deeper layers of the affected intestinal anatomy. This gastrointestinal condition is usually very uncomfortable and could evolve into more serious complications. If you or someone you know are experiencing symptoms of Crohn’s disease, we urge you to reach out to your nearest Adult Gastroenterology Associates location. Our board-certified GI specialists in Tulsa, OK are dedicated to helping our patients find cutting-edge treatment options to improve their quality of life.
What causes Crohn's disease?
The exact cause of Crohn’s disease is currently unknown. However, there are factors that seem to play a role in the likelihood of being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
- Genetics: An individual can inherit genetic material from a parent/or parents, which put you at a higher risk of being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. As many as 20% of individuals with Crohn’s disease have a relative who also shares the condition or another inflammatory bowel disease. It is most often found in people between the ages of 20 and 30.
- Immune system: It is believed that internal viruses or bacteria could bring on Crohn’s disease. When our body invokes your immune system to fight bacteria or a virus, an abnormal immune system reaction can attack the cells found in digestive tract as well. This could inflame areas of the small intestine and the colon.
What are the most common symptoms of Crohn’s disease?
Typically symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease manifest gradually and can range anywhere from mild to severe. Symptoms of Crohn's disease might include:
- Bloody stool
- Drainage or pain around or near the anus
- Below average development in children
- Stomach cramps
- Rectal bleeding
- Mouth sores
- Loss of normal menstrual cycle
- Sudden weight loss
- Abdominal pain
Contact an Adult Gastroenterology Associates location near you immediately if you notice persistent changes to your bowel habits, or if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below:
- Ongoing diarrhea
- Fever lasting more than a day
- Bloody stool
- Unintentional weight loss
- Persistent and/or severe abdominal pain
How is Crohn’s disease treated?
Presently, there is no known cure for Crohn’s disease. Treatment for this disease will likely vary from person to person. The primary goals of Crohn’s disease treatments are to manage the swelling that initiates symptoms and then reach and maintain remission. The best-case scenario is that the disease will enter into long-term remission in a patient who receives correct care. Crohn’s disease can be treated with one or a combination of the below listed treatment options:
Antibiotics: Antibiotics can help kill the bacteria that trigger the abnormal immune system response that causes inflammation. These are not a mainstay of treatment but may be used in conjunction with additional treatments.
Anti-inflammatory medications: Corticosteroids or steroids could be used to handle inflammation while implementing a long-term treatment option. Corticosteroids help reduce swelling in the body and can be used in conjunction with immune system suppressants.
Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: These therapies tackle the body’s abnormal immune reaction to bacteria and viruses. A few of the immunosuppressant drugs your Adult Gastroenterology Associates gastroenterologist could prescribe include: methotrexate, natalizumab, vedolizumab, ustekinumab, azathioprine, infliximab, adalimumab, or certolizumab.
Diet: Your gastroenterologist could recommend special nutritional protocols to alleviate symptoms and assist in entering remission.
Surgery: Some patients who have Crohn’s disease could require surgery to manage bleeding, infection, fistulas, or blockages if medication is not performing as hoped. Still, others might need surgery to remove the diseased portion of the intestine.
Medications for symptoms: Certain medications and supplements could also be recommended to help manage Crohn’s disease symptoms. These could include:
- Vitamin B-12 shots
- Iron supplements
- Calcium and vitamin D supplements
Medical care is available for Crohn's disease in Tulsa, OK. Get in touch with your nearest Adult Gastroenterology Associates location today to learn more about available treatment options.
Can Crohn’s disease cause health complications?
An intestinal blockage can occur in people with Crohn’s disease. A blockage forms because the bowel wall swells or thickens as a result of scar tissue and inflammation. In addition to this, ulcers can create tunnels that could grow through swollen parts of the bowel to nearby bowel tissues or even other organs.
If you have Crohn’s disease, your diet could lack sufficient levels of calories, protein, or vitamins. This could be because you are unable to absorb nutrients from the food you consume, you have a nauseated stomach keeping you from consuming enough sustenance, or you could be suffering a loss of protein through the intestine.
Additional complications of Crohn’s disease could also include:
- Kidney stones
- Skin problems
- Inflammation in the eyes or mouth
Can Crohn’s disease be fatal?
Crohn’s disease is not considered to be fatal. However, if continually ignored, an individual with Crohn’s disease can develop health problems that could be fatal. Our GI specialists have access to several clinical studies and treatment programs to help address the symptoms of Crohn's disease and improve your quality of life.
Patient-focused care for Crohn's disease
Here at Adult Gastroenterology Associates, our team understands the effects Crohn’s disease can have on your day-to-day life. Our board-certified gastroenterologists specialize in treating gastrointestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease, and we are devoted to delivering expert, personalized care to every one of our patients. To get in touch with a provider in Tulsa, OK who treats Crohn’s disease, we encourage you request a consultation at one of our locations today.
Crohn's Disease FAQs
What tests are used to detect Crohn's disease?
The identification of Crohn's disease is often conducted by using a combination of testing methods. Our Adult Gastroenterology Associates team may begin the diagnostic process by discussing your health history, the signs and symptoms you have noticed, and any family history of IBD or Crohn's. After performing a physical exam, they may order endoscopic tests (such as a colonoscopy and an EGD) and lab work involving blood and fecal samples. MRIs, CT scans, and other imaging procedures might also be carried out to diagnose Crohn's disease.
Is Crohn’s disease a chronic condition?
Crohn’s disease is a chronic, long-lasting health condition that can differ among individuals. Though Crohn's symptoms can vary from mild to intense, the intensity may fluctuate. The disease can worsen as time passes, and flare-ups may arise.
Does Crohn’s disease a curable condition?
At this time, there is no method of curing Crohn’s disease. In some cases, the disease might be in remission when it is not in an active state. Getting treatment for Crohn's disease and working to reduce inflammation could help control the condition and decrease its symptoms.
Do dietary factors impact Crohn’s disease?
Dietary habits do not appear to be the cause of Crohn’s disease. Some foods may provoke Crohn's flare-ups or certain types of effects, but these can range from person to person. Talk with your GI doctor about any potential dietary changes you might adopt to help ease Crohn's disease symptoms.
Very friendly people and they do their best to help and get things done in a timely matter!
I have been under Dr. Conkling's care for almost 10 years. He listens and always takes your concerns seriously. No one I trust more with managing my severe Crohn's Disease!
Dr Patel was very helpful courteous and polite spoke to me not above me explain things in a manner which I understood I thank him for that I'd recommend him to anyone
Dr Kliewer and support team was so kind and helpful throughout the complete visit.
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