Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammation of your intestines, which are also called the bowel. Although it is most often seen in your small intestine, it can show up in any part of your digestive tract, from your esophagus to your anus. Crohn’s can be genetically related, meaning that those with immediate family members with Crohn’s or another inflammatory bowel disease called ulcerative colitis are statistically more likely to be diagnosed themselves. In order to understand and manage Crohn’s it is important to be seen by a gastroenterology agoura hills practice.

Crohn’s is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system launches an attack against your digestive tract. When this happens, you experience what is called a flare or flare-up. Symptoms include abdominal pain and cramping, bowel changes (severe diarrhea or constipation or a combination), blood in your stool and abscesses. People with Crohn’s may also have joint pain, skin sores, pancreatitis and liver conditions such as hepatitis and cirrhosis.

As of now, there is no cure for Crohn’s disease. However, your gastroenterology agoura hills practitioner can recommend lifestyle changes and medications that can significantly help to reduce the symptoms. Although there is no so-called “Crohn’s diet” that gets rid of the condition, patients often find relief by learning what foods trigger their flares. Getting at least seven hours of sleep per night and avoiding stress can also help.

In addition, there are several powerful medications now available to both kids and adults with Crohn’s. These work to reduce the inflammation that causes the uncomfortable symptoms you feel. If you have Crohn’s and have been suffering in silence, the time is now to declare your independence from this disease. Seeing a GI specialist can be your first step toward reclaiming a full life.