Atlantic Medical Group
Eric Ibegbu, MD
Gastroenterologist & Bariatric Medicine located in Kinston, NC & Jacksonville, NC
Both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases. These conditions cause severe symptoms that impact the patient’s quality of life and may eventually lead to serious complications. Dr. Eric Ibegbu can diagnose these symptoms accurately and provide effective treatment options. If you think you may have one of these conditions, please contact Atlantic Medical Group today to make an appointment in Kinston or Jacksonville, North Carolina.
Crohn's Disease and Colitis Q & A
What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes widespread inflammation in your digestive tract. This inflammation often spreads deep into the lining of your digestive tract, causing severe symptoms. Crohn’s disease may be limited to only one part of your digestive tract, or it may spread throughout the entire system.
What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is similar to Crohn’s disease, but it only affects your large intestine. If you have this condition, you’ll have severe inflammation and painful ulcers in the innermost lining of the colon and rectum.
What symptoms do these diseases cause?
Both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis cause similar symptoms. The symptoms of these two diseases may include:
- Blood in your stool
- Stomach pain and cramping
- Unintentional weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained fatigue
Symptoms can range in severity based on how much damage the disease has caused.
How do doctors diagnose these conditions?
Dr. Ibegbu may suspect that you have either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis based on a description of your symptoms, the results of blood tests, and/or analysis of a stool sample. However, to confirm either of these conditions, he’ll usually need to perform a colonoscopy.
During the colonoscopy, Dr. Ibegbu will be able to see the inside of your intestines. He’ll also be able to take biopsies of your intestinal lining.
What is the treatment for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis?
Most cases of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis respond to medication. Some of the medications Dr. Ibegbu may prescribe for these conditions include:
- Calcium supplements
- Vitamin D supplements
- Iron supplements
- Pain relievers
- Anti-diarrheal medications
- Immune system suppressors
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
Many patients with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis will need more than one type of medication to take care of all of their symptoms.
If your condition is severe and/or doesn’t respond well to medication, Dr. Ibegbu may recommend surgery. During surgery for inflammatory bowel disease, the goal is to remove the diseased portion of your intestines. If you have ulcerative colitis, surgery can often cure the condition. However, if you have Crohn’s disease, the benefits of surgery are usually temporary.
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