The severe symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can cause extreme distress. If you suffer with IBD, you know the drill -- chronic diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain, bloody stools, and fatigue. Not only do these issues make every meal tough to navigate, they can interfere with your ability to function day in and day out.
These symptoms may be diagnosed by your primary care doctor, but a gastroenterologist confirms the diagnosis and offers proper, effective treatment. At GastroDoxs, Dr. Bharat Pothuri is here to help members of the greater Houston area navigate life with IBD.
IBD describes two conditions: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the mouth to the anus, but most often affects the area of the small intestine just before it hits the colon. Inflammation can penetrate multiple layers of the GI tract and appear in patches next to healthy tissue.
Ulcerative colitis occurs in the large intestine and rectum. The areas affected are continuous and usually start at the rectum and spread all the way back through the colon. Inflammation affects just the innermost lining of the colon, rather than multiple tissues.
The type of IBD you have matters. A gastroenterologist can properly diagnosis your particular condition. To diagnose Crohn’s disease, you usually need an endoscopy, while for ulcerative colitis you’re diagnosed via colonoscopy. When your condition is properly identified, Dr. Pothuri can offer tailored treatment.
IBD can be tricky. You can feel just fine, but inflammation is brewing in your intestine that could cause issues later on. Monitoring helps identify problems early, so they can be treated in a timely and effective manner. At GastroDoxs, we offer periodic blood testing even when you don’t have symptoms, just to ensure you don’t have any underlying complications developing.
Depending on your IBD, Dr. Pothuri may recommend medications that include corticosteroids, aminosalicylates, and immunomodulators. Biologics are a new class of drugs recently approved for people with IBD, too. As you take these medications, he’ll check in on how they’re working and if they’re providing relief from your issues. A gastroenterologist also makes sure drug therapy isn’t causing unwanted side effects.
What you eat plays a big role in flare-ups of IBD and in its progression. But exactly what foods are problematic depends on where the inflammatory problem is in your intestinal system. Dr. Pothuri helps you develop a diet that’s appropriate for your IBD and symptoms. In general, he steers you toward healthy, whole foods, cutting out soda, and avoiding restaurant and processed foods. A gastroenterologist like Dr. Pothuri works with you to figure out what does and doesn’t work for your system.
IBD can have a debilitating effect on your mental health. You may have flare-ups at inopportune times and may feel socially isolated or anxious at times due to your symptoms. A support system that helps you through the tough moments is crucial, and your gastroenterologist can be part of this system. Plus, Dr. Pothuri can help you find stress management techniques, such as yoga and meditation, to overcome the mental distress associated with IBD.
If you’re suffering from IBD, don’t deny yourself the expert care of a gastroenterologist. Dr. Pothuri offers more than just a diagnosis. He can help you navigate IBD to live the best life possible. For more on how to manage your disease, call our office or book a consultation using this website.