Dr. Whitehead explains that Crohn’s disease is chronic inflammation and can affect the body anywhere from the mouth, esophagus and down the GI tract to the anus. Colitis is inflammation that affects the rectum to the large bowel, which is commonly known as the colon. These conditions are an autoimmune response in which the body actually attacks its own tissue cells, causing the chronic inflammation.
How do you know if you have an inflammatory bowel disease? Dr. Whitehead says that symptoms of bowel irritability can include crampy abdominal pain, bloody stools, diarrhea, and 10 to 15 bowel movements in one day. Fatigue, night sweats, and weight loss can also be symptoms of undiagnosed Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
During this segment, Dr. Whitehead answers the common questions people have about these conditions and explains more about:
- Symptoms of inflammatory bowel conditions.
- How Crohn’s disease and colitis are diagnosed using a colonoscopy and endoscopic biopsy, and the importance of undergoing this simple procedure.
- How inflammatory bowel diseases are treated. Dr. Whitehead talks about the exciting new medications that are being introduced as well as new, targeted therapies being used to suppress the immune response to improve symptoms.
- Natural ways to treat the diseases and lower inflammation in the body and how healing the gut through natural therapies and diet can complement more conventional medical therapies to lower inflammation.
- How doctors help manage these conditions during pregnancy.
- Important resources and support services available to patients living with inflammatory bowel disease.