Inflammatory Bowel Disease Specialists

Illinois Gastroenterology Group -  - Gastroenterology

Illinois Gastroenterology Group

Gastroenterology located in Elgin, IL, South Elgin, IL & Lake In The Hills, IL

Inflammatory bowel disease is a serious, long-term digestive disorder that’s diagnosed in childhood about 25% of the time. An accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan are vital to successfully overcoming the challenges of this disease. The board-certified gastroenterologists at the Illinois Gastroenterology Group in Elgin, Illinois, are well known throughout the professional medical community for their expertise in diagnosing and treating inflammatory bowel disease. You can also rely on their commitment to treating you as a valued individual rather than a list of symptoms on your chart. Schedule a visit today by calling the office or booking your appointment online.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Q & A

What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

There are two types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that involve chronic inflammation of your digestive tract:

  • Ulcerative Colitis: Ulcerative colitis causes chronic inflammation and open sores (ulcers) in the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon), including the rectum. It doesn’t affect other portions of your digestive tract.
  • Crohn's Disease: Crohn’s disease causes chronic inflammation that can affect any part of your digestive tract, from your mouth to your anus, but most often shows up in the small intestine and colon.

What are the Symptoms of IBD?

The symptoms of IBD can vary and often depend on which portion of your digestive tract is affected. Most individuals with IBD experience periods when the disease is active and then go through a remission phase that can last weeks to months, much longer when treated appropriately.

Generally, IBD symptoms often include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain and cramping that can vary from mild to severe
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Bloody stools
  • Reduced appetite and unintended weight loss

IBD can also cause delayed puberty in children and can cause rashes, arthritis, and other issues not seemingly related to your digestive system.

What Causes Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

It’s not clear what causes IBD. It is known that a poor diet and stress can worsen IBD flare-ups but not cause the condition. Increased risk factors for IBD include:

  • Age, typically diagnosed before 30
  • Family history of IBD in a parent, sibling, or child
  • Frequent use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)

Individuals living in industrialized countries and those in northern climates are also more likely to develop IBD.

How is IBD Treated?

Treatment begins with an accurate diagnosis. Your Illinois Gastroenterology Group specialist will order tests that can include:

  • Blood work
  • Stool studies
  • Upper endoscopy or colonoscopy with biopsies
  • Imaging studies (X-rays or CT scans)

Once the diagnosis of IBD is confirmed, your specialist designs a custom treatment program that can include corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, antibiotics, and other medications to control IBD. Nutritional therapy is often helpful in easing the symptoms of IBD.