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Crohn's Disease Specialist

Crohn's Disease

Crohn's Disease services offered in South Bend, Plymouth and LaPorte, IN

Crohn's disease can appear at any age, but it's most often diagnosed in young adults, who face a lifetime of uncomfortable and unpredictable flare-ups. The board-certified gastroenterologists and advanced nurse practitioners at Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc provide experienced, compassionate care that helps keep the disease in remission. To get help for Crohn's disease, call the nearest office to schedule today. They have four offices in La Porte and Plymouth, Indiana, and on Generations Drive and in The South Bend Clinic on North Eddy Street in South Bend, Indiana.


Crohn's Disease Q & A

What is Crohn's disease?

Crohn's disease is a chronic bowel disease that causes areas of inflammation in the wall of your gastrointestinal tract. If you don't get treatment, the patches of inflammation can go deep into the intestinal walls, causing complications such as:

  • Ulcers
  • Abscesses
  • Malnutrition
  • Fistulas (abnormal passages through tissues)
  • Intestinal narrowing (causing an obstruction)

You can develop Crohn's patches in any part of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. However, the inflammation most often affects the end of your small intestine and the first part of your large intestine.

What symptoms does Crohn's disease cause?

Crohn's disease causes:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sudden, urgent need to have a bowel movement
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Blood in your stool
  • Fever
  • Anemia

Many people with Crohn's disease develop symptoms outside their intestines. You may experience problems such as:

  • Joint pain
  • Skin rashes
  • Mouth sores
  • Inflamed bile duct
  • Eye pain and inflammation

This disease typically goes through periods of remission, when you have few or no symptoms and the disease stays inactive. Then remission is followed by a flare-up, which begins with sudden diarrhea, lower abdominal cramps, and sometimes bloody stools.

How is Crohn's disease treated?

Your Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc provider creates a treatment plan based on how much of your GI tract is involved and the severity of the inflammation. You may receive:

Medications

A variety of medications help improve Crohn's disease, including:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-diarrheal drugs
  • Steroids
  • Immune system suppressants
  • Biologic therapies

Biologic medications neutralize the immune system and relieve inflammation by precisely targeting specific proteins. Your provider administers biologics intravenously at their comfortable biologic infusion site.

Nutrition therapy

Foods don't cause Crohn's disease or trigger a flare-up. However, during an active disease flare, resting your bowels and changing your diet can reduce inflammation and improve your symptoms. You may also need to take dietary supplements to avoid a nutritional deficiency.

Surgery

If your symptoms don’t improve with medications and dietary changes, you may need surgery to remove the inflamed patches. While this relieves your symptoms, surgery doesn't cure Crohn's and you can develop new patches in the future. You might also need surgery if you develop problems like abscesses and fistulas.

Colon cancer screening

People with Crohn's disease have a higher risk of developing colon cancer. Your provider recommends how frequently you should have a screening colonoscopy to prevent this disease.

If you have diarrhea and abdominal pain, call Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc, to book an appointment online today.