Crohn’s & Ulcerative Colitis
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic inflammatory diseases resulting from an inappropriate immune response and are both major categories of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). These chronic diseases tend to run in families and they affect males and females equally.
What is Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis?
Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract and may affect any part from the mouth to the anus. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory condition limited to the colon.
Both Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis cause similar symptoms which include:
- Rectal bleeding
- Urgent need to move bowels
- Abdominal cramps and pain
- Sensation of incomplete evacuation
- Loss of appetite
- Weight Loss
- Night sweats
- Loss of normal menstrual cycle
Both illnesses are marked by an abnormal response by the body’s immune system. The immune system is composed of various cells and proteins which protect the body from infection. In people with Crohn’s disease, however, the immune system reacts inappropriately – mistaking benign or beneficial cells and bacteria for harmful foreign substances. When this happens, your immune system can do harm to your gastrointestinal tract and produce the symptoms of IBD.
Treatment for Crohn’s Disease
Treatment with medication is the first option for people with Crohn’s disease. Surgery may be a consideration if the disease doesn’t respond to medication. Crohn’s patients may require surgery to correct potential complications of the disease such as clearing an intestinal blockage or repairing damage to the intestines which can include a perforation or abscess, however, surgery is not a cure for Crohn’s disease.
There is currently no cure for Crohn’s disease but there are a wide range of treatment options available that can help people control symptoms and achieve and maintain remission. It’s important to see a doctor and set treatment goals that will work best for you.
Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis
Prescribed medications are often used to treat ulcerative colitis that strive to control the inflammation that is a main cause of ulcerative colitis symptoms and induce remission. The medication your doctor prescribes may depend on whether you have mild, moderate, or severe ulcerative colitis.
Depending on your ulcerative colitis symptoms, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter medications for you, such as:
- Pain relievers
- Nutritional supplements
- Over-the-counter medications are often suggested to be taken as a supplement to your prescription—not instead of it.
When Surgery is Necessary
Surgery may be a consideration if the disease doesn’t respond to medication.
At the Surgery Group of LA, we know how trying and painful Chron’s and Ulcerative Colitis can be. Combining state-of-the-art medical facilities with compassionate, patient-centered care, we work hard to determine effective treatment for every patient so that they find relief. Call us today to schedule an appointment with a colorectal surgeon in Los Angeles.