Along with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis makes up a condition called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). More than a million Americans have IBD and it is most common in adults over 20. Dr. Bharat Pothuri, a gastroenterologist, and his experienced medical team at GastroDoxs in Cypress, North Houston, Texas, specialize in diagnosing and treating IBD, so you can live a healthy life, free of the inconvenient and sometimes painful symptoms of this condition. Call or schedule a consultation online to learn about treatment options. We are located in Greater Houston.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is the name of two conditions that involve chronic inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract – Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both of these conditions, if left untreated, can damage your gastrointestinal tract. With ulcerative colitis, you may experience long-term sores (ulcers) within your large intestine (colon) and rectum. Crohn’s disease causes inflammation in the lining of your digestive tract that often spreads into affected tissue.
Depending on where in your digestive tract IBD occurs and the severity of the inflammation, you may experience mild to severe symptoms. Typically, when you have IBD, you experience alternating periods of active illness and remission. Symptoms include:
Although the exact causes of IBD are unknown, it’s directly linked to an inadequate or poorly functioning immune system. When you have IBD and your immune system attempts to fight off a virus or bacteria, your immune system also incorrectly attacks healthy cells in your digestive tract. Age, heredity, smoking, and diet are all risk factors that contribute to the onset of IBD.
To treat your type of IBD – Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis – Dr. Pothuri first determines your specific condition and evaluates your symptoms. For active Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the goal of treatment is to control inflammation, correct nutritional issues, and relieve you of pain, diarrhea, and other symptoms. Dr. Pothuri commonly prescribes medications to alleviate symptoms that include anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, or medications that suppress your immune system.
In some severe cases of ulcerative colitis, when medications aren’t helpful enough, you may need surgery to remove a damaged colon. This type of surgery can eliminate ulcerative colitis, but it usually requires removal of your entire colon, making it necessary to have an alternative way to eliminate waste from your body.
Surgery for Crohn’s disease doesn’t cure the condition, but instead removes the damaged part of your digestive tract and reconnects the healthy sections. Even with surgery, there is a chance Crohn’s disease will eventually affect the healthy tissue.
If you have concerns about IBD or want to know more about treatment options, call or schedule an appointment online. Dr. Pothuri explains your diagnosis and answers your questions so you can get the best type of relief possible. We are conveniently located in Greater Houston and look forward to meeting you.