Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. It is characterized by chronic inflammation of the intestinal walls. The most common symptoms are abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue.
The exact cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown, but it is thought to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There are certain genes that are associated with an increased risk of developing Crohn’s disease but not everyone with these genes will get the disease. Environmental factors that have been linked to Crohn’s include smoking cigarettes and infection with certain bacteria or viruses.
There is no cure for Crohn’s disease, however, treatments that provide relief from symptoms and improve the quality of life do exist. Let’s talk about the different types of Crohn’s disease treatments available today.
Anti-inflammatory drugs are part of the standard treatment for Crohn’s disease. They work by reducing inflammation in the intestine, which helps to relieve symptoms and improve overall health. The most commonly used anti-inflammatories for Crohn’s disease are corticosteroids (such as prednisone) and 5-aminosalicylates (such as mesalamine). These medications can be taken orally or rectally, and they are often used together to achieve the best results.
Immunosuppressants work to suppress the immune system. In people with Crohn’s disease, immunosuppressants can help to reduce inflammation in the gut and improve symptoms. These medications can be used as a short-term treatment during flare ups or as long-term therapy for people who do not respond well to other treatments.
Antibiotics are commonly used to treat Crohn’s disease. They work by killing the bacteria that are causing the inflammation. According to some studies, it may be bacteria in the intestinal tract that triggers the inflammatory response. There are many different types of antibiotics that can be used to treat Crohn’s disease. The most common are ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, metronidazole, and sulfasalazine. Antibiotics are often used in combination with other medications such as corticosteroids or immunosuppressants.
Biologics are a type of medication that is derived from living cells. They are used to treat Crohn’s disease by targeting and reducing inflammation in the digestive tract. Biologics can be given as infusions, and they are typically used when other medications have failed to control the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
The most common type of biologic is an antibody, which works by targeting and neutralizing the proteins that cause inflammation. Other types of biologics include small molecule inhibitors, which block the activity of enzymes involved in inflammation, and immunomodulators, which modulate the immune response to reduce inflammation.
Surgery is a treatment option for Crohn’s disease. There are two types of surgery that can be performed to treat Crohn’s disease, the most commonly performed of the two is a colectomy, which involves removing the diseased portion of the intestine, and the remaining ends of the bowel are then brought together. This can help to improve symptoms and prevent further damage to the intestine.
Gastroenterologists are specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of Crohn’s disease and can provide you with the best possible care for this chronic condition. Without medical treatment, Crohn’s disease can severely impact your quality of life, and it also comes with serious complications, which include fistulas, abscesses, and malnutrition. Untreated Crohn’s disease may also increase your risk of colon cancer.
Crohn’s Disease Treatment in Austin, TX
You do not have to suffer through uncomfortable and painful symptoms. For the expert treatment of Crohn’s disease, schedule an appointment with one of our gastroenterologists at Austin Gastroenterology (AG). We have our own infusion center, where our specially trained staff administers IV treatments for inflammatory bowel diseases in a calm, clean, and comfortable setting. Call our GI clinic nearest you today or use our convenient appointment request form.