Crohn's Disease Specialist

Gastrointestinal Medicine Associates

Gastroenterologists located in Fairfax, VA & Reston, VA

Crohn's disease is an illness that affects the whole digestive tract. It causes inflammation and pain that usually focuses on the small intestine, but it can extend from the mouth down as far as the anus in some cases. Patients battling Crohn’s disease can rely on the experienced gastroenterologists at Gastrointestinal Medicine Associates in Reston and Fairfax, Virginia, for expert diagnosis and treatment. Call the office today to learn more and schedule an appointment with the team.

Crohn's Disease Q&A

What is Crohn's disease?

Crohn's disease is an illness causing intestinal inflammation. There are five different kinds of Crohn's disease, each of which affects a different portion of the gastrointestinal tract. They include:

Ileocolitis

This is the most common variety of Crohn's disease. It impacts the lower part of the small intestine and the upper part of the large intestine.

Ileitis

This type of Crohn's disease impacts only the lower part of the small intestine.

Gastroduodenal Crohn’s disease

This rare type of Crohn's disease affects both the small intestine and the stomach.

Jejunoileitis

Also a rare form of Crohn's disease, jejunoileitis affects the upper portion of the small intestine.

Crohn’s colitis

This form of Crohn's disease affects the large intestine.

What are the signs of Crohn's disease?

Most people with Crohn’s disease go through cycles of flare-ups followed by a period of remission. During remission, the disease calms down and your symptoms temporarily go away.

The most obvious indicator of Crohn's disease for many patients is the pain. Abdominal pain can be uncomfortable and may be severe for some patients. You may also notice the following symptoms:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss, when you haven't changed your eating or exercise habits
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Fever

The inflammation caused by Crohn’s can penetrate deep into the intestinal wall. This leads to complications such as intestinal blockages, abscesses, and ulcers.

Some Crohn’s patients develop symptoms beyond their gastrointestinal tract. For example, you may experience swollen joints, skin rashes, and eye inflammation.

How is Crohn's disease treated?

Your physician at Gastrointestinal Medicine Associates performs a complete examination, including necessary diagnostic tests to determine which type of Crohn's disease you have. The treatment is then based on your specific type of Crohn's disease and your symptoms.

In many cases, Crohn's disease flares may decrease with the right dietary changes. Your gastroenterologist can recommend specific changes that may be beneficial to you.

It's also helpful for many patients to take Crohn's disease medications, which can include:

  • Anti-diarrheal medication
  • Medicated enemas
  • Antibiotic medication
  • Steroid medication (for short-term use)
  • Immune system medication (immunomodulator medication)
  • Biologic medication

The team at Gastrointestinal Medicine Associates is here to help you find the best solution for your Crohn's disease symptoms. To learn more and schedule an appointment, call the office closest to you today.