House Call: Crohn’s Disease – Signs, Symptoms & Treatment
It is estimated that as many as 700,000 Americans are living with Crohn’s disease.
Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract that belongs to a group of conditions known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), and is often confused with ulcerative colitis or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Crohn’s may affect any part of the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus.
The classic symptoms of Crohn’s include persistent diarrhea, abdominal pain and weight loss, while less common symptoms include rectal bleeding, nausea and vomiting. Because Crohn’s disease has similar symptoms to IBS and/or ulcerative colitis, it is important to discuss any symptoms you are experiencing with your doctor to be properly evaluated and diagnosed.
If left untreated, Crohn’s disease can increase an individual’s risk for infections, intestinal blockages and malnutrition. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available for Crohn’s disease, which allow many patients to lead normal, symptom-free lives. Treatment for Crohn’s focuses on suppressing inflammation in the GI tract, which not only offers relief from symptoms, but also allows intestinal tissues to heal. Cone Health has an exceptional network of gastroenterologists and related healthcare providers dedicated to properly diagnosing and treating patients with Crohn’s disease throughout the community.
Dr. Malcolm Stark is a board certified gastroenterologist and a member of Cone Health Medical Staff. Dr. Stark is a 1985 graduate of New York University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in internal medicine at University of Virginia Health Sciences Center and completed a fellowship in gastroenterology at Georgetown University Medical Center.