Crohn’s disease flare-ups make you feel like your own body has betrayed you. As a gastroenterologist, Maninder Guram, MD, knows your condition intimately and does everything he can to help you retake control of your body. At Texas Gastroenterology Associates in Tomball, Texas, you get the tools you need to stay in remission, from medication to infusions and everything in between. If you’re looking for a doctor to monitor your Crohn’s disease, call or go online today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Guram.
Crohn’s disease is an incurable inflammatory bowel disease. It causes inflammation throughout the digestive tract, particularly the lower intestine and colon. Symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:
Researchers aren’t sure what causes Crohn’s disease, but certain physical, environmental, and genetic factors seem to contribute to its development. Crohn’s disease is much more common in people with family members who have it. Also, a malfunctioning immune system triggers the body to attack healthy cells in the digestive tract.
Stress and diet can aggravate symptoms. Cigarette smoking and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) use also increase the severity of the disease.
Because there’s no cure for Crohn’s disease, the goal of treatment is to alleviate symptoms, reduce inflammation, and prevent flare-ups. The first line of treatment is often anti-inflammatory medication such as corticosteroids. Immune system suppressors, antibiotics, and supplements provide additional avenues of treatment.
Nutrition therapy through a feeding tube or injection alleviates some people’s Crohn’s disease by giving the bowels a rest. This short-term strategy helps control symptoms, especially before surgery. Surgery is the last course of action if other treatments are ineffective, and it usually involves removing diseased portions of your digestive tract.
Know your triggers. If factors like stress and smoking cause flare-ups, take steps to avoid them. Keeping track of your habits leading up to a flare-up gives you a good idea of what to avoid.
Take precautions even when you feel well. It’s easy to skip your medications and preventive routines once you’re feeling better. However, becoming lax could leave you vulnerable to a flare-up.
Reduce your controllable risk factors. For example, processed foods increase your risk of Crohn’s flares, so make an effort to eat unprocessed foods to control your symptoms.
Maintain open communication with Dr. Guram so he gets to know your triggers and which treatments work best for you.
Build up your social support system, too, with faithful family members and friends who can help comfort you when you’re having a flare-up. You may consider hiring a therapist or joining a support group to surround yourself with people who can empathize and offer guidance.
When you have Crohn’s, it’s smart to establish an ongoing relationship with a doctor who understands your disease. Make an appointment with Dr. Guram today to start building that support team.