Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Specialist

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) services offered in South Bend, Plymouth and LaPorte, IN

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) causes chronic gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, inflammation, and bleeding. If you have symptoms of IBD, visit one of Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc’s offices located in Plymouth, La Porte, or South Bend, Indiana, with two South Bend locations on Generations Drive and in The South Bend Clinic on North Eddy Street. The board-certified gastroenterologists offer effective treatment for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the most common forms of IBD. To benefit from their expertise, call your nearest Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc office today or book an appointment online. 

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Q & A

What is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

IBD affects the lining of your gastrointestinal tract. There are two primary forms of IBD: 

Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease could affect any part of your digestive system, including your stomach, small intestine, colon, and rectum. It causes symptoms such as:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Blood in your stool
  • Eyes, skin, and joint inflammation 
  • Anal fissures (cracks)

Fistulas (unnatural openings between the intestines and other body parts) can form that may develop into painful abscesses.

Ulcerative colitis 

Ulcerative colitis also causes abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding. However, the symptoms don’t extend beyond your rectum and large bowel (colon). You could also get tenesmus, an urge to push even when there are no stools in your rectum. Severe ulcerative colitis can cause fecal incontinence and disabling rectal pain.

To confirm a diagnosis of IBD and assess the extent of the damage to your gastrointestinal system, you might need to have a colonoscopy. This procedure involves having a flexible pipe (colonoscope) fitted with a camera inside your rectum and colon. Your provider can also take a biopsy (tissue sample) for lab analysis.

What causes IBD?

IBD diseases are autoimmune disorders. They develop because of a fault in your immune system that triggers an attack on the tissue lining your gastrointestinal tract. Why this happens isn’t clear. There could be a genetic link or something in your environment that causes your immune system to malfunction.

The result is inflammation in the affected tissues that causes pain, bleeding, and other IBD symptoms. IBD is incurable, but many people experience long periods of remission, where symptoms are manageable or all but disappear.

Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc can help you manage your IBD, so you spend as much time as possible in remission.

How is IBD treated?

Treating IBD involves taking medications to calm the inflammation. Your provider at Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc is likely to begin by prescribing anti-inflammatory medicines like mesalamine. If you have an infection, you might also need antibiotics.

If oral mesalamine pills and suppositories (rectal pills) aren’t controlling your IBD symptoms, you might need to take steroids like prednisone, which are also powerful anti-inflammatories. For the most severe or nonresponsive IBD, you might have to take immunosuppressants to reduce the immune system’s aggressive activity.

There are also newer drugs called biologics that can help with moderate to severe IBD. These medications target proteins in your immune system that stimulate inflammation, and block their activity.

For expert diagnosis and treatment of IBD, call Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc today or book an appointment online.