Crohn’s Disease

Gastroenterology located in Mesa, AZ

Crohns Disease services offered in Mesa, AZ

Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis affect as many as 1.6 million Americans. The symptoms of Crohn’s disease are often quite hard to live with, and that’s why you need the support of a gastroenterology specialist to reclaim your life. At Desert Valley Gastroenterology, the team of gastroenterologists in Mesa, Arizona, regularly treats Crohn’s disease patients to help them live their best life. Call our office today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

What is Crohn's disease?

Crohn's disease is a serious disease affecting anywhere from your mouth to your anus. Sometimes it can affect other organs outside of the gastrointestinal tract. It causes digestive tract inflammation and commonly leads to uncomfortable symptoms such as:

  • Abdominal discomfort or pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blood in your stool
  • Fever
  • Fistula, an abnormal skin tunnel causing drainage around the anus

Severe Crohn's disease can cause skin, eye, joint, and liver inflammation, along with other very damaging problems. If untreated, Crohn's disease can potentially incapacitate you and lead to life-threatening complications.

What causes Crohn’s disease?

The cause of Crohn’s disease isn’t known. Once, diet and stress were thought to be the causes of Crohn’s disease, but research now indicates that those things make Crohn’s flare-ups worse but don’t cause them. 

Today, medical experts believe that multiple factors, including genetics and immune system malfunction, likely contribute to the development of Crohn’s disease. Other factors like smoking and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may also contribute.

How is Crohn's disease diagnosed?

Crohn's disease diagnosis can be complex because there's no definitive test for it. The Desert Valley Gastroenterology team may perform blood tests and procedures like a colonoscopy or other types of endoscopy, along with careful symptom analysis, to diagnose your Crohn's disease. 

Is Crohn's disease the same as irritable bowel syndrome?

No. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn's disease are two distinct conditions. IBS is a gastrointestinal tract disorder. Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation, damage to your bowel wall, and other problems like sores and intestinal narrowing. While both are uncomfortable and frustrating, Crohn's disease is more serious and damaging to your body. 

How is Crohn’s disease different from ulcerative colitis?

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the primary types of inflammatory bowel disease. They cause similar symptoms, but there are some distinct differences. While Crohn’s disease typically occurs anywhere from your mouth to your anus (and possibly elsewhere), ulcerative colitis only happens in your colon. 

Another key difference is that people with Crohn’s disease often have healthy intestine sections interspersed with highly inflamed sections. But, with ulcerative colitis, your whole colon is inflamed. Crohn’s disease can occur in every layer of your colon walls, while ulcerative colitis affects only the inner part of your colon lining. 

Crohn’s disease is the more severe of the two diseases, but there’s no doubt that both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can be extremely uncomfortable and frustrating for sufferers.

How is Crohn's disease treated?

The team takes a whole-body approach to Crohn's disease treatment, typically a combination treatment approach. Your treatment may include medication to suppress inflammation and decrease the frequency of flare-ups. 

Additionally, dietary changes may help reduce symptoms, restore optimal nutrient balance, and encourage your body to heal faster. If conservative care doesn't relieve your symptoms, you may need surgery at some point. Around 50% of Crohn's disease sufferers require surgery. 

Call the Desert Valley Gastroenterology office to get capable and compassionate Crohn's care.