Inflammatory Bowel Disease Specialist

Joseph Saracino, MD, FACG, FACP -  - Gastroenterology and Endoscopy

Joseph Saracino, MD, FACG, FACP

Gastroenterology and Endoscopy located in Kinston, NC

If you’re one of the 1.6 million people in the United States who live with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), you can find comprehensive care at the office of Joseph Saracino, MD, in Kinston, North Carolina. Dr. Saracino has extensive experience diagnosing the inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. He customizes your treatment plan to resolve your symptoms and protect your long-term gastrointestinal health. To find out more about treatment options for inflammatory bowel disease, call the office of Joseph Saracino, MD, or request a consultation online today.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Q & A

What is inflammatory bowel disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term for two conditions, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, that cause chronic inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract.

Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is a condition where chronic inflammation can develop anywhere in your gastrointestinal tract – from your mouth to your anus. However, the condition generally causes inflammation in your small intestine.

This inflammation can move deep into the layers of tissue that line the walls of your gastrointestinal tract.

Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis causes chronic inflammation only in your large intestine (colon), including your rectum. This inflammation presents only in the innermost layer of your colon’s lining.

While there’s no known cause for IBD, it may be the result of immune system deficiencies. Your body may mistakenly attack healthy tissue and cause chronic inflammation in response to environment triggers. You may also be at increased risk for IBD if you have a family history of the disease.

What are the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease?

IBD symptoms can range from mild to severe. Some of the most common symptoms of IBD include:

  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Bloody stools
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unexplained weight loss

If you experience any of these symptoms or other changes in your bowel habits, it’s important that you schedule a diagnostic evaluation with Dr. Saracino as soon as possible.

How is inflammatory bowel disease diagnosed?

Diagnosing symptoms of IBD involves a review of your personal and family medical history and a thorough physical exam.

To determine if you have Crohn’s disease, Dr. Saracino performs an endoscopy procedure. If he suspects you have ulcerative colitis, he may recommend a colonoscopy. He performs both of these outpatient procedures in his endoscopy facility.

Dr. Saracino also offers capsule endoscopy using CapsoCam Plus® technology. For this test, you swallow a small pill containing a camera that captures images as it moves through your gastrointestinal tract.

You may also need other diagnostic tests, such as a stool sample to check for infection and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to check for tissue damage.

What is the treatment for inflammatory bowel disease?

Initial treatment for IBD may include medications that reduce chronic inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract. Dr. Saracino can make recommendations for dietary modifications to prevent unnecessary inflammation that can worsen your IBD symptoms.

If you have damage in your gastrointestinal tract due to IBD, Dr. Saracino can determine if you’re a candidate for surgery. The goal of surgery for IBD is to remove damaged parts of your intestines and reconnect the healthy parts to restore your gastrointestinal health.

Dr. Saracino continues to monitor your progress through follow-up appointments, providing further treatment as needed to prevent additional health complications.

If you have symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, call the office of Joseph Saracino, MD, or request an appointment online today.