Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a condition that causes ongoing inflammation of the intestines. The condition can affect any part of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus. Common types of IBD include ulcerative colitis, indeterminate colitis, and Crohn’s disease.
What Are IBD Symptoms?
Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease could include abdominal pain, frequent diarrhea that may contain blood or pus, fever, chills, weight loss, and fatigue. The condition may be mild or severe. The inflammation can also affect other parts of the body, such as the eyes or joints, and may cause a form of arthritis.
What Causes Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
Doctors don’t know the exact cause of inflammatory bowel disease. Research shows that people with these conditions experience many changes in their body’s immune system, but we don’t know why these changes happen. Research also shows a strong link to abnormal responses in the immune system, meaning certain unknown triggers cause your body’s immune system to attack itself.
There is also a possible genetic component, which makes this condition more common among family members.
How is IBD Diagnosed?
Our experts examine every possible cause of your condition. You may need one or more tests to determine the issue.
How is IBD Treated?
Multidisciplinary teams work together to produce therapies to relieve inflammation and help you manage pain and discomfort. Your treatment may include:
Medication. Taking medications can help your intestines heal and decrease the frequency of flare-ups. You may need additional medications to control specific symptoms, such as anti-diarrheal medicine for diarrhea.
Medical nutrition therapy. Certain foods can make your symptoms worse. Our team includes a dedicated nutritionist who specializes in helping patients with inflammatory bowel disease avoid trigger foods. This can help reduce your symptoms, replace lost nutrients and help your intestine heal.
Pain management. Using innovative approaches, experts can address the source of your pain.
Parenteral nutrition. This involves getting extra nutrition from special fluids you receive through a catheter (a thin, spaghetti-like tube) in your vein. Total parenteral nutrition can help you if your intestines need time to heal or your stomach has lost its ability to absorb nutrients from food taken by mouth.
Surgery. In rare cases, you may need surgery to repair or remove a portion of your gastrointestinal tract if other treatments are not successful.