Inflammatory Bowel Diseases in Denver, CO
Inflammatory bowel disease affects adults of all ages and walks of life. This widespread condition causes significant discomfort and can take a toll on your quality of life. But you don’t have to struggle with IBD alone. At the first sign of distress, look to the team at Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology for help. We provide outstanding gastroenterological care to patients throughout Denver, CO. Instead of waiting for your symptoms to subside on their own, get professional treatment from our experienced providers.
What Are Inflammatory Bowel Diseases?
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are a group of chronic diseases that cause inflammation in the intestines. The two main types include Crohn’s disease, which can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, and ulcerative colitis, which is limited to the large intestine. Learn more about these prevalent conditions:
Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus. Unlike other forms of IBD, Crohn’s disease causes inflammation deep within the tissues. It’s thought to arise from an abnormal immune response, possibly triggered by genetic factors or environmental influences.
Ulcerative colitis is another type of inflammatory bowel disease that primarily affects the colon and the rectum. It involves inflammation and ulcer growth in the innermost lining of the colon. Medical professionals suspect that ulcerative colitis could be triggered by a combination of genetic factors and environmental influences.
Are There Known IBD Causes?
The exact inflammatory bowel disease cause remains largely unknown. However, several potential contributing factors have been identified. One theory posits that IBD is the result of an abnormal immune response to cells in the digestive tract. Genetics appear to play a significant role, as individuals with a family history of IBD are more likely to develop the condition. Meanwhile, environmental factors such as a diet high in fat and sugar, obesity, and smoking are also associated with a higher risk of developing IBD.
Identify Common Inflammatory Bowel Disease Symptoms
Inflammatory bowel disease symptoms can be both uncomfortable and frustrating. They vary in their severity and tend to fluctuate between flare-ups and remission. If you’re dealing with any of the following chronic symptoms, discuss IBD and other conditions we treat with your doctor:
- Diarrhea, sometimes containing blood
- Persistent abdominal pain and cramping
- Urgency to have a bowel movement
- Fecal incontinence
- Changes in appetite
- Unintentional weight loss
- Inflammation in the eyes, mouth, skin, or joints
Diagnosing Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Diagnosing IBD usually entails a combination of assessments, lab tests, imaging, and endoscopic procedures. There is no single test to solidify a diagnosis, and we’ll need to take multiple steps to confirm your condition. Here’s what you can expect during the diagnostic process:
- Discussion of Family History: First, we’ll discuss any family history of inflammatory bowel diseases. If you have a parent or grandparent with the same condition, your chances of developing it are higher.
- Physical Exam: We complete a preliminary physical exam to look for any clear signs of the condition and potential complications.
- Endoscopic Procedures: Procedures such as upper endoscopies and colonoscopies play a critical role in diagnosing IBD. These procedures allow doctors to visually inspect the colon and rectum for signs of inflammation and to take biopsy samples for examination.
- Imaging Tests: Imaging studies, like X-rays or CT scans, may be used to evaluate the extent of the disease and identify complications.
- Additional Testing: Blood tests may be ordered to check for signs of inflammation or anemia, while stool tests can help rule out other causes of gastrointestinal symptoms, such as infections.
How We Treat Cases of IBD
Inflammatory bowel disease treatment typically focuses on reducing inflammation, managing symptoms, and achieving long-term remission. Specific treatment plans will depend on the type and severity of IBD, but here are some common approaches:
- Medication: Medications are a crucial part of any IBD treatment plan. We may prescribe immunosuppressants, pain relievers, antibiotics, or steroids to ease symptoms.
- Surgery: Surgery is sometimes necessary to repair damage in the intestine. If you need areas of the intestine repaired or blockages removed, we’ll discuss your surgical options.
- Lifestyle Changes: In many cases, lifestyle changes go a long way to relieving symptoms. We recommend identifying foods that trigger your IBD, incorporating supplements into your daily routine, and avoiding smoking. Our nutritional counseling services may be of help as you work to manage IBD.
Look to Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology for Help
Symptoms like abdominal pain, fatigue, and diarrhea can significantly reduce your enjoyment of life. Instead of living with inflammatory bowel disease, work with Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology to ease symptoms and improve your health. While there is no straightforward cure, we can help you find noticeable relief. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.Go back