Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in Tulsa, OK

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IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) is an overarching term to describe irritation in your digestive tract. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can be classified into two similar but separate diseases:

  • Crohn’s disease: Crohn's disease creates uncomfortable inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, specifically your colon. It is usually manifests at the start of the colon, but could affect any portion of the GI tract ranging from the mouth to the anus.
  • Ulcerative colitis: Ulcerative colitis also causes the colon to swell, but is typically accompanied by ulcerations in the tissue. This condition is restricted to the large bowel.

The GI specialists at an Adult Gastroenterology Associates location near you both diagnose and treat IBD. If you believe you are experiencing IBD and are seeking treatment in Tulsa, OK, please connect with our team to request a consultation.

The cause of IBD is commonly categorized as an immune system malfunction. Just like when your body correctly initiates an immune system to attack a virus or bacteria, an abnormal immune system response can fight the cells in the GI tract. As a result, sections of the small intestine and colon become irritated. Inflammatory bowel disease is hereditary and can be passed down from parent to offspring. Risk factors for IBD include:

  • Age: Most individuals diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease are below the age of 30.
  • Ethnicity or race: IBD is commonly found in Caucasians and people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent but can affect people of any race.
  • Family history: Inflammatory bowel disease is hereditary.
  • Geography: Residing in a well-developed region and/or northern climates may increase the likelihood of IBD.
  • Smoking
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pills (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen

Symptoms of IBD will vary in accordance with the disease and its severity. The most common symptoms of IBD include:

  • Joint pain or stiffness
  • Undesired weight changes
  • Fever
  • Mouth sores
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Rectal discomfort
  • Diarrhea
  • Change with normal menstrual cycle
  • Urgency to defecate
  • Constipation
  • Blood in the stool
  • Chronic tiredness
  • Rash
  • Stomach distress
  • Abdominal distress
  • Distress or drainage near or around the anus

Please contact a GI provider at an Adult Gastroenterology Associates near you if you notice a consistent change in bowel habits, or notice any combination of the above symptoms. Contact one of our GI practices in Tulsa, OK today to request a consultation.

IBD can be diagnosed in many ways; your GI provider will assess your symptoms and then determine the best way to confirm your condition. A colonoscopy or an endoscopy is often used to detect inflammatory bowel disease. Sometimes, other imaging procedures will be conducted, like an MRI, X-ray, or CT scan.

What are treatment options for IBD?

The primary treatment goal is to decrease the inflammation in your GI system in an effort to relieve or reduce symptoms. Treatment could eventually result in long-term remission of inflammatory bowel disease. Treatment options for IBD include:

  • Iron supplements
  • Surgery
  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs targeted at an overactive immune system
  • Vitamin D and calcium supplements
  • Anti-diarrheal medications
  • Enteral nutrition (liquid supplements)
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Is inflammatory bowel disease an inherited condition?

For some individuals, genetic factors can impact the development of inflammatory bowel disease. However, an individual could be genetically inclined to develop inflammatory bowel disease but not ever experience the condition. The hereditary risk for disease development is greater with Crohn’s disease compared to that of ulcerative colitis.

Can inflammatory bowel disease increase the chance of cancer?

Having IBD does not mean cancer will develop. But it can heighten the risk of colon cancer. Managing the disease properly and controlling inflammation may help lessen the cancer risk. Speak with your Adult Gastroenterology Associates provider to learn more about the risks of cancer with inflammatory bowel disease.

Can diet affect inflammatory bowel disease?

Making certain changes to your diet might help minimize some of the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. This may include cutting out foods that tend to cause bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, among other troublesome symptoms. Our gastrointestinal providers can help you determine a dietary plan that is right for your health.

Can inflammatory bowel disease be cured?

There is no identified cure for inflammatory bowel disease. But there may be times when the disease becomes inactive and goes into remission. IBD and its effects may be treated and managed via medications, supplements, and dietary modifications.

Inflammatory bowel disease is not a fatal condition. However, when left unmanaged and untreated, it could increase your risk of developing a severe condition. Moreover, leaving IBD untreated could lead to an elevated risk of colon cancer. As a physician-led group of GI providers, Adult Gastroenterology Associates carries out treatment options to help control the symptoms and optimize the lives of those living with inflammatory bowel disease. To get help for IBD in Tulsa, OK, please request a consultation at a location in your community today.

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