Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in Denver, CO
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What is IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)?
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a comprehensive term to describe swelling in your digestive tract. IBD is generally categorized into two similar but unique diseases:
- Crohn’s disease: Crohn's disease results in uncomfortable inflammation of your gastrointestinal tract, namely the colon. It is typically seen at the end of the small bowel, the start of the colon, and might impact any area of the GI tract from the mouth to the anus.
- Ulcerative colitis: Ulcerative colitis also presents itself through inflammation of the colon, but is usually accompanied by ulcerations in the tissue. It is restricted to the colon.
Gastrointestinal physicians typically detect and deal with inflammatory bowel disease. If you believe you might be suffering from IBD in Denver, CO, please get in touch with Colorado Gastroenterology to locate a GI professional in your area.
What causes IBD?
The reason for IBD is often characterized as an immune system issue. Just as your body properly activates your immune system to attack a virus or bacteria, an abnormal immune system response can attack the cells in the digestive tract. As a result, sections of the small bowel and colon become irritated. Inflammatory bowel disease does carry a genetic component and can be handed down from parent to child. Risk factors for inflammatory bowel disease include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pills (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen
- Age: The majority of patients diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease are below the age of 30
- Ethnicity or race: Inflammatory bowel disease is most frequent among Caucasians and people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, but can impact people of any race
- Geography: Living in a well-developed region and/or northern areas may elevate the likelihood of inflammatory bowel disease
- Family history: IBD is linked to being passed down genetically
To learn more about the specific causes and how to manage IBD in your daily life, contact our GI team at Colorado Gastroenterology.
How Is IBD Identified?
IBD can be identified via various approaches, determined by your physician based on your symptoms. An endoscopy or a colonoscopy is often used to diagnose IBD. In some cases, additional imaging evaluations will be carried out, such as MRI, CT, or x-ray.
What are treatment options for IBD?
The main treatment goal is to lessen the inflammation in your GI system in an effort to reduce or eliminate symptoms. Treatment could eventually allow for long-term remission of IBD. Treatments for IBD involve:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs targeted at an overactive immune
- Anti-diarrheal medications
- Iron supplements
- Enteral nutrition (liquid supplements)
- Vitamin D and calcium supplements
If you believe you have IBD and are looking for a great place to get treatment, contact the team at Colorado Gastroenterology.
What are the signs of inflammatory bowel disease?
Signs of inflammatory bowel disease will vary in accordance with the condition and its severity. The common symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease involve:
- Abdominal pain
- Loose stools
- Stomach discomfort
- Distress or drainage near or around the anus
- Joint ache or stiffness
- Change with typical menstrual cycle
- Undesired weight loss
- Blood in the stool
- Rectal soreness
- Mouth sores
- Chronic exhaustion
- Abrupt loss of weight
- Urgent need to defecate
We encourage you to get in touch with a Colorado Gastroenterology gastroenterologist should you experience any constant shift in bowel routines, or have any mix of the above symptoms. Call our GI facility in Denver, CO today to schedule a visit.
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Inflammatory Bowel Disease FAQs
Is inflammatory bowel disease genetic?
In some instances, genetic factors can impact the chance of having inflammatory bowel disease. However, a patient can be genetically prone to getting IBD yet not develop the disorder. The genetic risk of disease occurrence is greater with Crohn’s disease than with ulcerative colitis.
Does having IBD increase the chance of cancer?
Developing inflammatory bowel disease does not mean an individual will get cancer. But having the condition could heighten the likelihood of colon or rectal cancer development. Managing the disease well and controlling inflammation may help minimize the cancer risk. Consult your Colorado Gastroenterology gastrointestinal physician to discover more about the risk of developing cancer with inflammatory bowel disease.
Can a person's diet have an effect on inflammatory bowel disease?
Specific dietary changes might help diminish some inflammatory bowel disease symptoms. This might include avoiding foods that cause gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort, and diarrhea, among other unpleasant symptoms. Our GI team can help you identify an ideal dietary approach for your health.
Does IBD ever go away?
At this time, there is no cure for IBD. But there may be instances when the condition is not in an active state and falls into remission. Inflammatory bowel disease and its symptoms may be addressed and managed via medications, supplements, and dietary changes.
Manage your condition today
IBD is not a fatal condition. However, when left unmanaged and untreated with time, a person with IBD could have issues that could be fatal. Moreover, leaving IBD uncared for can lead to an elevated risk of colon cancer. As a physician-led group of gastroenterologists/gastrointestinal doctors/GI doctors, Colorado Gastroenterology offers several clinical trials to help regulate the symptoms and enhance the lives of those living with IBD. To get help for IBD in Denver, CO, please schedule an appointment with our gastroenterology practice today.
Dr. Rufner helped confirm a diagnosis for me after experiencing mystery symptoms for over two years. I felt like my concerns were taken seriously at this clinic and I am very thankful and actively working on symptom management. As part of my diagnosis I had an endoscopy at their procedure center and it went very smoothly there as well.
By the end of my first appointment he had a game plan. Which I have been trying to get for 10 years. He was kind, understanding, and seemed to really care.
Dr Rufner was super amazing at my first visit. Explained everything and helped figure out my plan of care. He was concerned and answered all my questions!! He’s very very experienced in the GI world. If you get the chance to have his care, you are winning!
I have been a patient for approximately 8 years and am more than satisfied in the care and guidance I receive. I have recommended him numerous times through the years.
Dr. Rufner read over my existing file before my first appointment, listened to my concerns, and formulated a plan. I appreciate his willingness to problem solve with me.