Having painful digestive symptoms can be difficult to explain to a doctor and hard to pinpoint. Sometimes symptoms may flare up when you eat certain foods or experience high-stress levels or may randomly happen. Crohn’s disease is characterized by long-term digestive tract inflammation which may cause belly pain, diarrhea, bleeding, tiredness, and weight loss. The tricky thing about Crohn’s disease is that those symptoms are very similar to other digestive conditions, so much so that there are some conditions that you may mistake for Crohn’s disease. Your gastroenterologist is the right person to do appropriate tests and identify whether it’s Crohn’s or something else.
Those who have celiac disease are unable to digest gluten. Instead of being digested, gluten damages and eventually destroys the intestinal villi. Over time, this prevents nutrient absorption and causes growth and additional physical ailments. Professional diagnosis is important since those with celiac disease may experience weight loss, diarrhea, and tiredness and those with Crohn’s disease may also have trouble with gluten.
Food Intolerances or Allergies
Your digestive system normally does a good job breaking down and absorbing food. If it doesn’t work with certain foods, you may have a food intolerance. Similarly, your body’s immune system is designed to protect you against foreign invaders and dangerous substances, but it may overreact to harmless foods. When this happens, it’s called a food allergy. Both intolerances and allergies have symptoms similar to Crohn’s such as belly pain and cramps, diarrhea, and nausea.
As you age, your intestines develop small bulging pouches, primarily in the colon, called diverticula. They’re mostly harmless until they become inflamed or infected. When that happens, it’s known as diverticulitis. Symptoms include lower gut pain that lasts a few days, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever, all of which are also symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease.
Don’t self-diagnose! All the conditions mentioned here require medical diagnosis and intervention to prevent further damage to your digestive system. See your Granite Peaks gastroenterologist to get a professional diagnosis and care plan to prevent and manage your digestive health. Correctly identifying the issue is key to getting the care you need.
For this reason, make an appointment to see a gastroenterologist sooner rather than later so you know the issue and how to address it.
Learn more about Crohn’s disease and other conditions with which the gastroenterologists at Granite Peaks Gastroenterology can help! Start here to learn about Crohn’s!