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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Specialist

Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC

Robert M Narvaez, MD, MBA

Digestive Healthcare Center & Gastroenterologist located in San Antonio, TX

At least 3 million American adults have inflammatory bowel disease, which causes severe inflammation and can lead to major issues within your gastrointestinal tract. If you’re suffering from constipation, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, poor appetite, or other issues, it’s time to see expert gastroenterologist Robert Narvaez, MD, MBA, at Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC. Using a foundation of true medical excellence, Dr. Narvaez diagnoses and treats all types of inflammatory bowel disease. Don’t let intrusive symptoms take over your life. Call the San Antonio, Texas, office or book an appointment online.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

What is inflammatory bowel disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease is a group of inflammatory conditions that affect your gastrointestinal tract, triggering uncomfortable or painful symptoms. The two main kinds of inflammatory bowel disease are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. 

What are the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease?

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease have similar symptoms, even though they’re distinct conditions. Common symptoms include: 

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloody stools
  • Poor appetite
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation (less common than diarrhea)
  • Fever
  • Fatigue

Your symptoms can fluctuate from mild to severe, and you may have asymptomatic periods called remissions. 

How are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease different?

The key differences between ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are: 

The area affected

Ulcerative colitis affects the large intestine, which is made up of your colon and rectum. Crohn’s disease can occur in any part of your gastrointestinal tract. It commonly affects the small and large intestines but may also occur in your esophagus, stomach, and anus. 

The inflammation pattern

In ulcerative colitis, your colon is uniformly inflamed. But, with Crohn’s disease, you have some healthy areas next to the inflamed areas. 

Depth of inflammation

With ulcerative colitis, the inflammation occurs only in the innermost intestinal lining. In Crohn’s disease, you can have inflammation throughout all layers of tissue. 

Up to 10% of inflammatory bowel disease patients display characteristics of both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. This is known as irritable bowel disease-unclassified. 

What is the treatment for inflammatory bowel disease?

Dr. Narvaez begins with a diagnosis, which may include blood testing, stool testing, and CT or MRI scans. You may need a diagnostic procedure like a colonoscopy, upper endoscopy, capsule endoscopy, or barium X-rays so he can determine the location and extent of the damage. 

Treatment may include medication, such as antibiotics, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and biologics, that can relieve symptoms and help deter inflammation. Lifestyle changes, including a healthier diet, exercise, and nutritional supplements, can help relieve symptoms too. 

If conservative care doesn't ease your symptoms, Dr. Narvaez may recommend surgery. During surgery, he can remove the diseased part of your intestine, correct complications like strictures (abnormal intestine narrowing), and then reconnect the healthy parts of your intestines. 

Concerned about gastrointestinal symptoms and need answers? You can rely upon the gastroenterology expertise at Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC. Call the office or book an appointment by clicking on the online scheduling tool.