Expert Diagnosis and Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease for Patients in New Jersey
Overview of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease
Ulcerative colitis is a potentially dangerous condition where the large intestine becomes inflamed and ulcers form. It can be excruciating and even debilitating. Crohn’s disease is similar to ulcerative colitis, but it can be much more widespread. While ulcerative colitis only affects the colon, Crohn’s may be present anywhere in the digestive tract – from the mouth to the colon. Furthermore, ulcerative colitis is limited to the innermost lining of the colon, but Crohn’s can strike all of the bowel’s layers.
Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s vary according to the severity and exact location of the disease, but they often include:
Pain and cramping in the rectum and abdomen
Rectal bleeding and bloody stool
Diarrhea, sometimes bloody or containing pus
Changes in bowel habits, such as urgency or the inability to pass a bowel movement
Additionally, these symptoms are only seen with Crohn’s and not ulcerative colitis:
Sores in the mouth
Causes of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease
The causes of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s are not entirely known. Family history and genetics may play a part. There are also many researchers who believe stress is a factor in developing this disease. Also, since ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s are autoimmune disorders, they may be triggered when the immune system fights off certain viruses or bacteria.
Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease Diagnosis
Diagnosing Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s is often a process of ruling out other possible diseases and causes for a patient’s symptoms, such consultations are available to you at New Jersey Advanced Gastro Center. To this end, a gastroenterologist may use a variety of tests to confirm a suspected diagnosis. These include imaging like x-rays and CT scans, laboratory blood and stool tests, and colonoscopy, where the colon is inspected directly through a tube inserted in the rectum.
Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease
There are some drugs that can help with these two diseases. These include anti-inflammatory medications, like corticosteroids, and drugs that suppress the immune system. Your gastroenterological doctors at New Jersey Advanced Gastro Center may also prescribe other drugs that address the symptoms of this disease, such as pain relievers, antidiarrheal drugs, antibiotics, and nutritional supplements. Lifestyle changes can be beneficial as well.
More severe cases may require surgery to remove sections of the diseased intestines. In these cases, the surgeon is sometimes able to perform what is called an anastomosis, joining two healthy lengths of colon together where a diseased segment was removed.