Diagnosing and Treating Crohn's Disease Online
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) named after Dr. Burrill Bernard Crohn, who made major advancements in the identification of the condition. Crohn’s disease is often caused by inflammation or irritation in the ileum, which is a part of the small intestine. However, the inflammation can develop in any part of the digestive tract – anywhere from the mouth to the anus.
It’s unclear what specifically causes Crohn’s disease, but there are some factors that may play a role in the development of this condition:
- Bacteria in the digestive tract may trigger an immune system response leading to inflammation
- Genetics may factor into Crohn’s disease. Someone may be more likely to develop the condition if a parent or sibling has Crohn’s disease
- Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
- High-fat diet
Inflammation or irritation that is caused by Crohn’s disease can spread throughout the bowel tissue and eventually lead to other complications including bowel obstruction, ulcers, fistulas, anal fissures, malnutrition, and colon cancer.
During a video consult on Amwell your doctor will ask you a series of targeted questions to determine if your symptoms point to Crohn’s disease. Then your provider will proceed to determine the best treatment plan for you. Your provider may recommend in-person examination by a specialist if needed. Your treatment plan is based on the duration and severity of your symptoms and your medical history.
Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor will go over the risks and benefits of the various treatment plans. Treatment for Crohn’s disease is different depending on the severity.
Options for treatment of Crohn’s disease may include:
- Oral 5-aminosalicylates
- Immunosuppresants, like Azathioprine and mercaptopurine
- TNF inhibitors or biologic