Gastroenterology Associates of Central Georgia LLC
Gastroenterologists located in Macon, Gray, Warner Robins, and Milledgeville, GA
If you’re suffering from cramping, bloating, bloody stools, and other symptoms of Crohn’s disease, the board-certified physicians at Gastroenterology Associates of Central Georgia in Macon, Georgia, are here for you. They offer the most up-to-date Crohn’s disease treatments to reduce symptoms and restore your quality of life. Schedule an appointment with Gastroenterology Associates of Central Georgia over the phone.
Crohn’s Disease Q & A
What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease is a chronic disease that causes irritation and inflammation in your digestive tract. It’s one type of inflammatory bowel disease and can occur in any area of your digestive tract from your mouth to your anus. It commonly affects the small intestine and is associated with numerous unpleasant gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms.
What are the symptoms of Crohn’s disease?
The following signs and symptoms may indicate you have Crohn’s disease:
Diarrhea and bloody stools
Abdominal cramping and bloating
Poor appetite and weight loss
If left untreated, Crohn’s disease can lead to bowel obstruction, ulcers, fistulas, malnutrition, colon cancer, or other GI problems.
What are the risk factors for Crohn’s disease?
The cause of Crohn’s disease isn’t entirely clear, but genetics or immune system disorders might play a role in its development. It’s usually diagnosed in people younger than age 30. Factors that increase your risk of developing the disease include:
Family history of Crohn’s disease
Having Eastern European or Jewish descent
Taking certain medications
Living a healthy lifestyle may help protect you from developing the disease or decrease the severity of its symptoms.
How is Crohn’s disease treated?
To determine if you have Crohn’s disease, your doctor reviews your medical history and symptoms. They may do imaging tests, blood and stool testing, or other forms of diagnostic testing such as colonoscopy or upper endoscopy. If a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease is confirmed, they develop a personalized treatment plan for you. They might recommend:
Making lifestyle changes can reduce symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Examples include limiting high-fiber and dairy foods, eating lower-fat foods, and avoiding spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine. Not smoking, getting regular exercise, relieving stress, eating small meals, and drinking plenty of fluids may help, too.
Taking certain medications can reduce your symptoms or the severity of Crohn’s disease. Your gastroenterologist might suggest taking anti-inflammatory medicines, immune system-suppressing drugs, antibiotics, antidiarrheals, or pain relievers.
Taking dietary supplements, such as iron, vitamin B12, calcium, probiotics, omega-3 fats, and vitamin D, helps prevent nutritional deficiencies related to Crohn’s disease. During flare-ups, temporary nutrition therapy, which is receiving nutrients via a feeding tube or intravenous line, helps your bowel rest and can improve your overall nutrition.
In some cases, surgery might be the best way to reduce symptoms and restore your health when other treatments fail. About half of people with Crohn’s disease may require surgery to remove damaged portions of their digestive tract.
Don’t let Crohn’s disease ruin your quality of life or lead to severe complications. Schedule an appointment over the phone with Gastroenterology Associates of Central Georgia to learn more about your treatment options.