Dr. Weiss is a top provider of Crohn's disease treatment in New York City, offering cutting-edge techniques for both diagnosis and disease management at West Side Gastroenterology on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can develop anywhere in the digestive tract, but which occurs most commonly in the lower portion of the small intestine and the large intestine (colon).
Crohn's disease symptoms can range for mild to serve, and some patients go through periods of remission when they have no symptoms or very few symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can include:
bloody bowel movements
increased urgency to move your bowels
unintentional weight loss
The exact cause of Crohn's disease is not known, but some studies indicate it may be related to a faulty immune system reaction that causes immune system “agents” to attack the healthy tissue of the digestive tract. Having a bacterial or viral infection and having a close family member with Crohn's disease may also increase your chances for developing the disease.
After discussing your symptoms and reviewing your personal and family medical history, diagnostic procedures like sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy or endoscopy may be ordered. Barium x-rays can also be useful in obtaining a diagnosis, and in some cases, a small tissue sample, or biopsy, may be taken for evaluation in a lab.
Crohn's disease cannot be cured, but it can be controlled with medications, including corticosteroids and other anti-inflammatory medications, antibiotics and drugs that suppress the immune system reaction. Pain relievers and anti-diarrhea medicines may also be used to address specific symptoms. Because Crohn's disease can decrease the amount of nutrients your bowel is able to absorb, you may also be prescribed nutritional supplements to maintain proper nutrition.