Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in San Antonio, TX
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What is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?
Inflammatory bowel disease is a general term to describe swelling in your GI tract. IBD is generally grouped into two similar but unique diseases:
- Crohn’s disease: Crohn's disease creates uncomfortable inflammation of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, namely, the colon. It is usually at the base of the small bowel, the start of the colon, but can impact any part of the GI tract from the mouth to the anus.
- Ulcerative colitis: Ulcerative colitis also presents itself through swelling of the colon but is generally accompanied by ulcers. This condition is limited to the large intestine.
The GI specialists at San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates frequently identify and handle IBD. If you think you may be experiencing this condition and are seeking treatment for IBD in San Antonio, TX, please reach out to one of our locations to connect with a gastrointestinal specialist.
What causes IBD?
The cause of inflammatory bowel disease is typically classified as an immune system malfunction. Just like when your body appropriately stimulates your immune system to fight a virus or bacteria, an abnormal immune system trigger can fight the cells in the digestive tract. As a result, different components of the small bowel and colon become swollen. Inflammatory bowel disease carries a hereditary factor and can be passed down from parent to child. Risk factors for IBD include:
- Family history: IBD is linked to being passed down genetically.
- Geography: Living in an industrialized country and/or northern regions may enhance the risk of IBD.
- Age: Most patients diagnosed with IBD are lower than the age of 30.
- Tobacco use
- Race or ethnicity: Inflammatory bowel disease is most frequent among Caucasians and people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent but can affect anyone.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pills (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen
What are the symptoms of IBD?
Signs of IBD will differ based on the disease and its severity. The common symptoms of IBD include:
- Sudden weight loss
- Urgency to defecate
- Joint ache or inflexibility
- Unintentional weight loss
- Rectal soreness
- Pain or drainage in the area around the anus
- Mouth sores
- Stomach pain
- Abdominal discomfort
- Blood in your stool
- Chronic exhaustion
- Loss of typical menstrual cycle
We urge you to contact a San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates location near you should you encounter any constant changes in bowel habits, or notice any combination of the above symptoms. Contact one of our locations in San Antonio, TX today to request a consultation with a gastroenterologist.
How is IBD diagnosed?
IBD can be diagnosed through different approaches, determined by your physician based on your symptoms. An endoscopy or a colonoscopy is often used to diagnose inflammatory bowel disease. Sometimes, other imaging procedures will be carried out, such as X-ray, CT, or MRI.
What are treatments for IBD?
The primary treatment goal is to reduce the inflammation in your GI system in order to alleviate symptoms. Treatment may eventually enable long-term remission of inflammatory bowel disease. IBD treatment options include:
- Iron supplements
- Calcium and vitamin D supplements
- Anti-diarrheal medications
- Enteral nutrition (liquid supplements)
- Anti-inflammatory drugs targeted at an overactive immune system
Inflammatory Bowel Disease FAQs
Is inflammatory bowel disease genetic?
For some patients, genetics can play a role in the chance of developing IBD. However, a patient can be genetically inclined to having IBD yet not experience the disease. The genetic chance of disease occurrence is greater with Crohn’s disease than ulcerative colitis.
Does inflammatory bowel disease raise the chance of cancer?
Having IBD does not automatically indicate that someone will experience cancer. However, having the disorder can elevate the risk of getting colon cancer. Controlling the disease properly and controlling inflammation could help lessen the cancer risk. Speak with your San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates GI specialist to discover more about the chance of developing cancer when you have inflammatory bowel disease.
Can diet and nutrition affect inflammatory bowel disease?
Specific diet modifications could help lessen some of the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. This may include cutting out foods that cause gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort, and diarrhea, among other troublesome symptoms. Our GI provider can help you determine a diet ideal for your needs.
Will IBD ever go away?
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for inflammatory bowel disease. However, there could be times when the disease is not in an active state and falls into remission. IBD and its symptoms may be treated and controlled through medications, diet modifications, and dietary supplements.
Living with IBD?
IBD is not a deadly condition. However, when left unmanaged and untreated, over time, an individual with IBD may develop issues that can be deadly. Furthermore, leaving IBD unaddressed could lead to an elevated risk of developing colon cancer. Featuring a highly experienced team of GI specialists, San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates offers treatment to help minimize the symptoms and enhance the lives of those struggling with inflammatory bowel disease. To find help for IBD in San Antonio, TX, please request an appointment with a location nearest you today.
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