Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Digestive Disorders in Beverly Hills
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) – including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease – are chronic inflammatory conditions of all or part of the digestive tract. IBD is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system misrecognizes the patient’s body as being foreign and attacking the digestive system. IBDs cause diarrhea, pain, bloody stool, fatigue, and weight loss – and can even lead to other medical complications.
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation and ulcers in the inner lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. The inflammation found with ulcerative colitis always starts at the anus and proceeds upwards in a continuous manner. Inflammation can extend to the rectum (proctitis), the left side of the colon, or the entire colon (pan-colitis).
Crohn’s disease can cause inflammation anywhere in the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus. It most typically involves the last part of the small intestine (or the terminal ileum) and the colon. Crohn’s disease can be complicated by anal fistula (openings near the anus), stricturing or narrowing of the intestine, abscess/infection, or perforation.
A variety of tests may be performed to diagnose IBD, including blood tests, stool tests, colonoscopy, upper endoscopy and capsule endoscopy.
Depending on the severity, location, and prior treatment history of the IBD, a GI doctor may prescribe a series of medications, including:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Immune system suppressors
- Pain relievers
- Anti-diarrhea medicine
- Calcium and vitamin D supplements
- Iron supplements
- B-12 shots
- Diet modification
To learn more about your IBS condition, contact our Beverly Hills gastroenterologist at (310) 657-4444.