Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in Houston, TX

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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella label to describe irritation in the gastrointestinal tract. IBD is typically grouped into two similar but separate diseases:

  • Crohn's disease: Crohn's disease causes uncomfortable swelling of your GI tract, specifically the colon. It is usually at the base of the small intestine, the beginning of the colon, and can affect any portion of the GI tract from the mouth to the anus.
  • Ulcerative colitis: Ulcerative colitis also manifests itself through irritation of the colon but is generally accompanied by ulcerations in the tissue. This condition is restricted to the colon.

The gastroenterologists at Gastroenterology Consultants frequently diagnose and deal with inflammatory bowel disease. If you think you could be experiencing this problem and are seeking care for IBD in Houston, TX, please reach out to our team to partner with a gastrointestinal specialist.

IBD is commonly thought to occur as a result of a malfunction in the immune system. Just like when your body appropriately activates your immune system to deal with a virus or bacteria, an abnormal immune system response can fight the cells in the digestive system. As a result, sections of the small intestine and colon become inflamed. Inflammatory bowel disease does possess a hereditary element and can be handed down from parent to child. Risk factors of inflammatory bowel disease include:

  • Race or ethnicity: Inflammatory bowel disease is most common in Caucasians and people of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry but can affect people of any race.
  • Family history: IBD is associated with being passed down in the genes.
  • Smoking
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pills (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen
  • Geography: Inhabiting in an industrialized area and/or northern areas may increase the likelihood of inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Age: Most people diagnosed with IBD are below the age of 30.

Symptoms of IBD can vary significantly and depend largely on the severity of the disease. The standard signs of inflammatory bowel disease include:

  • Unexplained weight changes
  • Constipation
  • Joint pain or stiffness
  • Loose stools
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Blood in your stool
  • Immediate need to defecate
  • Distress or drainage in the area around the anus
  • Rectal discomfort
  • Stomach cramps
  • Rash
  • Chronic tiredness
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Loss of normal menstrual cycle
  • Fever
  • Mouth sores

We urge you to get in touch with a Gastroenterology Consultants GI specialist if you encounter any steady shift in bowel routines, or have any mix of the above symptoms. Contact our GI practice in Houston, TX today to schedule an appointment.

Inflammatory bowel disease can be identified with a range of different procedures. Your physician will recommend an approach based on your symptoms. A colonoscopy or an endoscopy is often utilized to detect IBD. At times, additional imaging evaluations will be carried out, such as CT, x-ray, or MRI.

How is IBD treated?

The overarching goal of treatment for inflammatory bowel disorder is to lessen the inflammation in your digestive system in order to relieve or reduce your symptoms. Treatment could eventually lead to long-term remission of IBD. Treatment options for IBD include:

  • Enteral nutrition (liquid supplements)
  • Antibiotics
  • Iron supplements
  • Surgery
  • Vitamin D and calcium supplements
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs targeted at an overactive immune system
  • Anti-diarrheal medications
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Is inflammatory bowel disease inherited?

Genetics can affect the chance of developing inflammatory bowel disease for some people. However, an individual might be genetically predisposed to having IBD but not ever get the condition. The genetic chance of disease occurrence is higher with Crohn’s disease than with ulcerative colitis.

Can having IBD increase the risk of cancer?

Being diagnosed with IBD does not automatically mean a person will develop cancer. However, having the disorder could raise the risk of colorectal cancer development. Managing the disease well and minimizing inflammation could help reduce the cancer risk. Speak with your Gastroenterology Consultants provider to learn more about the chance of developing cancer with inflammatory bowel disease.

Can diet have an impact on IBD?

Implementing certain dietary changes may help reduce some of the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. This might involve avoiding foods that cause bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, along with other uncomfortable symptoms. Your GI provider can help you determine an ideal dietary approach for your needs.

Is it possible to cure inflammatory bowel disease?

Currently, there is no identified cure for inflammatory bowel disease. But there might be times when the condition is inactive and goes into remission. Inflammatory bowel disease and its effects may be treated and controlled via medications, supplements, and changes to the diet.

IBD is not a grave disease. However, a person with IBD may be at higher risk of developing life-threatening complications if the condition goes unchecked. Additionally, leaving inflammatory bowel disease untreated can lead to an elevated risk of developing colon cancer. As a highly experienced team of GI doctors, Gastroenterology Consultants has treatment options to help manage the signs and enhance the lives of those living with IBD. To receive help for IBD in Houston, TX, please schedule an appointment with our GI facility today.

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