Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Treatment in San Jose
What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (or IBD) is a very common, long-term condition that affects the digestive system.
It is slightly more common in women than men. Inflammatory Bowel Disease usually starts in early adulthood but can occur at any age. Up to three million Americans have some form of IBD.
If you’re struggling with symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, don’t hesitate to see a specialist. For patients in the San Jose area, proctologist Aaron B. Parrish, MD is here to help. Dr. Parrish is board-certified by the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and has extensive experience accurately diagnosing and effectively treating IBD. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Parrish.
Types of IBD
IBD includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both types affect the digestive system. In both cases, there is chronic inflammation of the intestines.
Some symptoms may overlap between both types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, but there are a few key differences.
- Location – In Crohn’s disease, the inflammation can appear anywhere in the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus. Crohn’s disease usually affects more of the GI tract and symptoms can appear throughout the body.
Inflamed Spots – People with Crohn’s disease often have healthy areas in between inflamed spots.
Large Intestine Location – In Ulcerative colitis, the inflammation affects only the large intestine.
Continuous Inflammation – With ulcerative colitis, there are no healthy areas in between inflamed spots.
What are the Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
With both types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, you may have periods of normalcy and other times when symptoms disrupt your daily life.
IBD affects the gut or the large intestine and colon. When you eat food and it passes through your intestines, the wall of the bowel slowly helps to break down the food.
The gut wall is sensitive. If you have IBD, your immune system mistakes foods as foreign substances. This means it releases antibodies to fight off this treat and it causes IBD symptoms such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Upset stomach
We do not know what causes IBS, but some triggers may include:
- Environmental stress
- Family history or genetics
How Will I Know if I Have Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
If you have are worried you may have IBD, talk to a proctologist about your symptoms. It can be frustrating to live with these complications, and Dr. Parrish can perform several screenings to get the answers you need.
Seek medical attention if you have:
- Blood in your stool
- Extreme weight loss
These may be symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, but Dr. Parrish will also screen for cancer or Celiac Disease.
You may also have symptoms similar to IBD, but no inflammation. In this case, you may have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. With IBS, there is no sign of disease or abnormality during an exam of the colon.
Ruling out other conditions can get you on the road to recovery. Based on your symptoms, stool tests, or blood tests you can find the cause for your discomfort.
Dr. Parrish may also examine the lower part of your large intestines. This is a test called sigmoidoscopy. A sigmoidoscopy may be used to examine or diagnose certain conditions or structures in your lower colon.
How Can I Treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
Treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease can help you live a normal life. Although this is a chronic condition, there are many who live in remission a majority of the time.
Remission is considered as a period of time when you do not have any IBD flares. Medications or surgery can help you on your road to recovery.
Other daily treatment options for IBD include:
- Finding ways to relax and manage stress
- Getting regular exercise
- Meeting with a nutritionist for recommendations
- Keep a diary of foods you eat to avoid common triggers
- Take over-the-counter drugs to relieve constipation or diarrhea
Often there is no one single fix for IBD. Your provider can work with you to see what works best for you.
Medications and Surgical Treatments for IBD
Dr. Parrish will work with you and your gastroenterologist to find a medication that helps control your IBD symptoms. Often, medications can help control the inflammation so you can live a normal life.
If medication is not working for you, you may need to seek surgical care. This is where Dr. Parrish’s expertise can help.
With Crohn’s disease, as many as seventy percent eventually need surgery. Surgery may include a bowel resection to remove the part of the bowel that is diseased and connect two healthy ends of the bowel together.
With Ulcerative colitis, about 1 in 3 people need surgery after living more than 30 years with the disease. Surgery may include removing the colon and/or rectum and connecting your small intestine and the anus. You then have a pouch that collects stool and exits through the anus. This procedure usually cures you of the disease.
Find IBD Relief in San Jose
If you have IBD you can still enjoy an active, normal life. With the right medical care, you can manage symptoms and no longer have digestive issues getting in the way. It is important to find a provider you trust to join you on your journey with IBD.
Give us a call today to schedule an appointment in San Jose. We want to set you up for success with first, the proper diagnoses then, a treatment plan that works for you. If you need potential surgery we will talk you through your options, and we will be there each step of the way.
IBD is a lifelong condition, and we are here to help you with lifelong treatment and follow-up care. Contact us today!