Hal N Buch, MD
Gastroenterology located in Kingston, NY
Crohn’s disease affects up to 300 of every 100,000 people and can cause debilitating symptoms if not managed properly. If this statistic includes you, Marisa Flanagan, FNP-BC, and board-certified gastroenterologist Hal Buch, MD, can help at their Kingston, New York, office. They diagnose Crohn’s disease using the latest, least invasive technology and help you manage symptoms to ease discomfort. Call to learn more or book an appointment online today.
Crohn's Disease Q & A
What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease is a chronic health condition that causes inflammation in your digestive system, and is part of a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease. It’s due to a reaction from your body’s immune system that often affects the lower part of your small intestine. However, Crohn’s disease can damage any part of your digestive tract.
The cause of Crohn’s disease isn’t entirely clear, but genetic or environmental factors likely play a role. If you’re susceptible to Crohn’s disease, you may first notice symptoms between ages 13 and 30.
What are the symptoms of Crohn’s disease?
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease can be mild or severe, and might include:
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Weight loss or reduced appetite
- Rectal bleeding or drainage
- Mouth sores
- Skin, eye, joint, liver, or bile duct inflammation
- Delayed sexual development or growth in children
Symptoms can appear gradually or suddenly without warning. Complications from Crohn’s disease may include intestinal ulcers or blockages, nutrient malabsorption and deficiencies, and skin or joint problems.
How is Crohn’s disease diagnosed?
To diagnose Crohn’s disease, Marisa and Dr. Buch use revolutionary capsule endoscopies, which include a small bowel capsule you swallow. The capsule contains a tiny wireless camera that takes pictures of your digestive system as it travels through it.
Capsule endoscopies help your provider see inside your small intestine, an area not easily accessible with traditional endoscopic procedures. Small bowel capsule endoscopies are cutting-edge technology, and many other doctors aren’t yet using it.
Your provider may also order blood tests to check for anemia or infection, as well as stool tests to look for the presence of blood in your stool.
What is the treatment for Crohn’s disease?
While there’s no cure for Crohn’s disease, treatment helps control your symptoms so you can lead a pain-free, fulfilling life. Possible treatment options include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Immune system-suppressing medications
- Antibiotics or other medications
- Nutrition supplements, such as iron, calcium, and vitamins D and B12
- Tube feeding to let your bowel rest and improve overall nutrition
- Stress management
- Smoking cessation
- Surgery in severe cases
- Dietary changes
Your doctor educates you about making diet changes to alleviate Crohn’s disease symptoms. This might include limiting dairy foods, trying lower-fat foods, reducing fiber, eating cooked vs. raw fruits and vegetables, and avoiding certain trigger foods.
For example, popcorn, nuts, seeds, cabbage, corn, broccoli, and cauliflower may exacerbate Crohn’s disease symptoms. Spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine can also be problematic. Drink plenty of water, and eat five or six small meals rather a few large meals.
When you’re ready to ease Crohn’s disease symptoms to improve your health and enhance quality of life, call Dr. Buch’s office or book an appointment online today.