Occasional stomach aches or indigestion are not uncommon. In fact, about 25% of Americans experience occasional indigestion each year. Eating too fast, eating a rich or greasy meal, or eating and then quickly exercising can cause unpleasant symptoms.
But if gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms occur more regularly, they can start to affect the quality of your life. They can also be a sign of an underlying health condition such as Crohn’s disease.
If you are concerned about frequent or severe GI symptoms, Eric Ibegbu, MD, and our team at Atlantic Medical Group recommend that you come visit us. We are experienced in diagnosing and treating diseases that affect the GI tract.
In this blog, we explore the basics of Crohn's disease and how you can learn to spot the signs of this condition.
When indigestion is more than indigestion
Occasional indigestion is characterized by bloating, discomfort, cramping, and excessive gassiness. Frequent diarrhea, blood in the stool, and unexplained fevers are often a sign of something more serious than indigestion. These can be signs of Crohn's disease.
Not only is cramping uncomfortable, but frequent diarrhea can lead to dehydration, so it’s important to get the care you need when you notice more chronic symptoms like these.
What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease is just one type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), in which the lining of your digestive tract becomes inflamed. Risk factors include having a family history, smoking cigarettes, being around age 30, and taking NSAIDs.
How to tell if you have an inflammatory bowel disease
If you experience gastrointestinal symptoms, your No. 1 goal is getting relief. If you have an inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease, you might experience:
- Abdominal pain
- Reduced appetite
- Unexpected weight loss
- Blood in your stool
Some individuals may also experience mouth sores and joint inflammation.
Depending on your symptoms, Dr. Ibegbu may suggest a blood and/or stool test and colonoscopy to confirm the cause of your symptoms. Getting an accurate diagnosis is the first step to finding relief.
Get the relief you need and explore your treatment options
At Atlanta Medical Group, Dr. Ibegbu’s goal is to help you feel better. That’s why he works hard to help you manage your symptoms with both medication and surgery, if necessary. Managing the disease is the key to finding relief and preventing unwanted complications like ulcers.
If you’re concerned about Crohn’s disease, don’t hesitate to reach out. To schedule an appointment, call our Jacksonville or Kinston, North Carolina, clinic.