Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are two inflammatory bowel diseases that have a significant impact on the lives of children. A. John Yazdi, MD, with Pediatric Gastroenterology of Colorado Springs in Colorado Springs, Colorado, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of both these conditions. Dr. Yazdi has dedicated his life to working with young people suffering from bowel diseases. If your child is exhibiting symptoms, like unexplained weight loss or abdominal pain, give the office a call to find out more.
Ulcerative colitis is a condition that leads to sores and inflammation in the digestive tract. It’s a medical problem that tends to develop over time. For children, it’s hard to understand why they have pain or don’t go the bathroom like other kids. For parents, ulcerative colitis is scary because often there is blood or pus in their child’s stool.
Ulcerative colitis is classified by location. For instance, ulcerative proctitis indicates inflammation close to the rectum. Pancolitis, on the other hand, means the entire colon is irritated. Each form of this condition presents with different symptoms. The symptoms help Dr. Yazdi determine what part of the intestinal tract is affected.
Like ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease, meaning there is irritation and swelling somewhere in the intestine. For some of Dr. Yazdi’s young patients, the problem is isolated to the end of the small intestine. For others, it covers just the colon, which is part of the large intestine.
Also like ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease can lead to some very serious complications such as a bowel obstruction or ulcers. Crohn’s disease can also spread to the deep layers of the bowel and become life-threatening if left unmanaged.
Often, it’s unclear why conditions like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease develop. There is some indication that diet plays a role in both of these medical problems. Dr. Yazdi discusses diet management thoroughly with his patients and their family. Stress may also be part of the equation.
For both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, there are specific risk factors to consider, as well, such as family history. Crohn’s disease tends to develop in children who live in urban areas, too, which suggests environmental factors may be part of the cause.
Dr. Yazdi works with each family to develop a treatment strategy right for the patient based on several factors like symptoms, the location of the inflammation, and other medical issues like food allergies. Treatment for both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease typically involves a combination of medication and lifestyle changes.