IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
At times, the investigation of chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain and /or the passage of blood per rectum leads to a realization that an inflammatory condition underlies it. If infection or poor blood supply are not the culprits there may be IBD. IBD appears to be the culmination of the interplay between genes and environment leading to a spectrum of problems within the GI tract. And, at times, elsewhere in the body. Inflammation in the eyes, joints, skin, kidney stones, biliary or liver problems may all be related to IBD.
Tests to determine what is going on may include blood tests, stool studies to exclude infection, endoscopy (EGD) with biopsies, X-ray or video capsule studies of the small intestine, colonoscopy with biopsies.
Medications to treat Crohn’s or UC may include anti-inflammatory agents such as mesalamine or topical steroids, immumnosuppresives such as azathioprine or 6-MP, or even powerful “biologics” that mop up one of the main mediators of inflammation, tumor-necrosis-factor. These anti-TNF agents such as infliximab (Remicade), adalimumab (Humira) or certolizumab (Cimzia) are powerful agents and do have the potential for serious side-effects. They are best managed by a gastroenterologist. Antibiotics have additional anti-inflammatory mechanisms that may assist with the management of certain manifestations of IBD.
As of this writing there is no cure for IBD. One simply hopes to render the symptoms somewhat manageable and to avoid or detect early colon cancer or biliary malignancy by judicious monitoring.
Based in the heart of uptown and the Garden District of New Orleans, Dr. Huilgol (”Dr. Viv”) and the team at NOLA Gastro is committed to working with you to investigate what is going on, so you can make the correct choices for you.
GI health matters. Let’s work it out together.
Call 504-249-5901 and make an appointment…