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Inflammatory bowel disease, a group of chronic conditions that cause prolonged and painful inflammation of the digestive system, is an emerging health concern in the United States, as well as worldwide, especially in more developed countries. Its most common type, Crohn's disease, may affect over half a million Americans alone, many suffering without a diagnosis and an understanding of the reason their health is deteriorating.
Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory condition that attacks the lining of the digestive tract, which, if not recognized and treated in time, is very likely to cause moderate to severe physical problems that reach far beyond the intestines and the digestive system, and could potentially become a life-threatening condition. Understanding its Crohn’s disease symptoms is crucial for those impacted by this disorder, along with loved ones concerned about the well-being of a Crohn's disease patient.
We are often eager to enjoy a vast variety of foods, usually not giving a second thought to how they affect our health and, specifically, the digestive system. Stomach aches, bowel problems, and other, uncomfortable symptoms may come and go without us ever seriously considering the need to alter our daily diet. It usually takes a prolonged time of serious discomfort for us to entertain the idea that something might be wrong.
Crohn's disease symptoms are known to stay in remission and cause no physical problems for certain periods of time, just to be triggered and flare up again, leading to severe discomfort, usually unexpectedly.
Since inflammation of the lining can occur anywhere in the digestive tract, symptoms may vary. The most typical signs observed are:
While some of these symptoms may appear in healthy individuals as a result of a temporary digestive problem, frequent and prolonged bouts characterized by these signs are always a cause for concern and a reason to visit your primary care physician. Without prompt attention, you could develop more serious conditions, some of which that may turn into real medical emergencies, such as:
An early diagnosis can become life-saving: it will ensure that the disease progression is caught in time, leading to a more easily manageable condition that doesn't have to steal your work, physical activities, or other recreational time.
Diagnosing Crohn's disease may often prove to be a complicated task, given the complexity of symptoms, the varying degree of their severity, and the fact that the signs may not manifest the same way for all patients. It is likely that several different types of tests are needed, after considering your symptoms, their frequency, and seriousness. These examinations may include:
After careful consideration, a highly trained integrative functional medicine physician can determine the presence of Crohn's disease, its location in the digestive tract, and its state of progression. As a patient suffering from chronic inflammatory bowel disease, it is imperative to develop a close, trusting, and reliable relationship with your integrative functional medicine physician to prevent the worsening of your condition and even to restore the standard functions of the digestive system.
A integrative functional medicine physician will examine all areas of your lifestyle when creating a plan for managing your Crohn’s disease symptoms.
While science still has not discovered the exact cause of Crohn's disease, with the help of various scientifically proven allopathic and complementary medicinal methods this disorder may become entirely manageable, remaining in remission for extended periods of time. The goal of treatment, therefore, will always be:
The central area of focus is to develop and maintain a diet that is strongly anti-inflammatory and nutrient-rich. Inflammatory items such as caffeine, sugar, bread, flour, red meat, alcohol, poultry, and dairy, can easily trigger Crohn's disease. These items are known to further irritate the lining of the digestive tract. Your integrative physician can develop a personalized diet plan as part of your treatment.
Dr. Payal Bhandari, M.D. is San Francisco’s top integrative functional medicine physician. She specializes in the digestive and immune systems and how to effectively treat chronic diseases like Crohn’s. Her professional expertise, personalized and empathetic style, and sincere devotion to her patients ensures that you receive the very best treatment customized for your unique condition. With the help of Dr. Bhandari and her team, you can experience the relief of your symptoms, begin your journey towards physical well-being, and even regain your former sense of health.
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