Sometimes when you’re living with inflammatory bowel disease, it can feel like you’re suffering all alone. Some people feel ashamed of their condition and feel the need to hide it from others. The good news, however is that you’re not alone. In fact, millions of people suffer from the same condition. One of the most outspoken of these is Shannen Doherty. Shannen is best known for her role as Brenda Walsh on the TV show Beverly Hills, 90210. In 1999, Shannen revealed that she suffers from Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the intestinal tract.

If you are interested in learning about Crohn’s disease treatment in Los Angeles, our board-certified specialists at the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center of Excellence are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of this condition. For more information, please contact our outpatient surgery center.

What is Crohn’s Disease?

The common symptoms of Crohn’s disease are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping, diarrhea
  • Ulcers
  • Reduced appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Blood in the stool

Some other symptoms that people with Crohn’s disease may experience include fever, fatigue, arthritis, mouth sores, skin disorders, eye inflammation, and inflammation of the liver or bile ducts.

What Causes Crohn’s Disease?

While the exact cause of Crohn’s Disease remains unknown, doctors believe that it may come from a variety of sources. Chief among these are factors such as genetics and a malfunctioning immune system. Diet and stress may also play a role in aggravating Crohn’s disease.

Who Is at Risk For Crohn’s Disease?

The primary risk factors for Crohn’s disease are age, family history, ethnicity, location, and cigarette smoking. When it comes to age, most people with Crohn’s disease develop it before the age of thirty. Family history can often predict those who are a risk for Crohn’s disease, with as many as one in five patients having a history of it in their family. You are also at a higher risk for developing the disease if you are white. If you’re family is Jewish or Eastern European your risk is even higher. Location also plays a role in Crohn’s disease. Studies show that people who live in urban areas are at higher risk than those who live in rural areas. They also show that people who live in northern climates are at a higher risk. Finally, smoking can be a contributing factor to Crohn’s disease.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Crohn’s Disease

The first signs of Crohn’s disease are usually the symptoms listed above. Your doctor may also ask you to take one or more tests to confirm the diagnosis. These tests include:

  • Blood tests
  • Fecal occult blood test
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Capsule endoscopy
  • Small bowel imaging
  • Barium enema
  • Double balloon endoscopy

While there is currently no cure for Crohn’s disease, a number of treatment options are available. These options include anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, antibiotics, anti-diarrheals, laxatives, iron supplements, and others.

Crohn’s Disease Treatment Los Angeles

When it comes to inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Even celebrities such as Shannen Doherty are among the many who suffer from similar problems. The best way to start feeling better and get hold of your symptoms is to contact one of our expert doctors. You can set up an appointment today by using our contact form or by calling us at (888) 421-4172.

Next, read Is There a Link Between Stress, Exercise and Inflammatory Bowel Disease?