As many as 3 million people in the United States have an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These chronic gastrointestinal diseases can cause severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, and weight loss and affect your overall quality of life. The experienced board-certified gastroenterologists at Gateway Gastroenterology, which has offices in Chesterfield, Missouri, specialize in the diagnosis and management of IBDs and can develop a plan that puts you in control of your health. To schedule a consultation for your IBD, call the office or request a consultation online today.
Inflammatory bowel disease is a medical term used to describe inflammation that occurs in the digestive system. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two types of IBD.
Crohn’s disease can cause inflammation and ulcerations in any part of your gastrointestinal system, from your mouth to your anus. However, the inflammation and ulcerations are most often found in the small intestines (ileum) and the beginning of the large intestines.
The inflammation and ulcerations caused by Crohn’s disease can affect the entire thickness of the gastrointestinal tissue. Crohn’s disease is classified by type based on the portion of the bowel affected:
Your symptoms, as well as the severity of complications, are dependent on the type of Crohn’s disease you have.
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic IBD that leads to inflammation and ulcerations in the lining of the large intestines, also referred to as the colon. Unlike Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis only affects the large intestines and only the innermost layer of gastrointestinal tissue. The sores caused by ulcerative colitis produce pus, which leads to abdominal pain and frequent bowel movements.
Ulcerative colitis is classified into types based on the portion of the large intestines affected, which includes:
Symptoms and complications of ulcerative colitis vary based on type.
Your physician at Gateway Gastroenterology works one-on-one with you to develop a treatment that helps you stay in control of your IBD to minimize symptoms and improve your quality of life. Treatment may include medications that control inflammation and symptoms and diet changes that eliminate foods that exacerbate symptoms, as well as foods that promote tissue healing and replenish nutrient stores.
Gateway Gastroenterology also has an in-office infusion center and in-office lab services, which enable your physician to monitor your condition more closely and provide supplemental nutrients when necessary. Nurses have direct access to physicians when patients experience active symptoms while they’re in the office.
If medications, infusions, and diet changes fail to help you gain control over your IBD, surgery to remove the diseased portion of your gastrointestinal tract may be recommended.
With the right care, you can live a healthy and happy life with your IBD. For help managing your gastrointestinal condition from a compassionate team, call the office or request an appointment online today.