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Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic and complex conditions. That's why it's important to work with physicians who understand inflammatory bowel disease. The University of Chicago Medicine has a long history of excellence in IBD research, and we continue to have access to the latest therapies. The pediatric IBD experts at Comer Children's recognize that every individual is different, so we take a personalized approach to finding the treatment that works best for you.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term that includes Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis (UC) and indeterminate colitis (also known as IBD-unclassified or IBD-U). These painful diseases involve a dysregulation (abnormality or impairment) of the immune system that injures the lining of the digestive system. This may cause inflammation and ulceration, severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stools, weight loss and/or failure to thrive in children.
Crohn's disease can occur anywhere in the digestive tract, while ulcerative colitis primarily affects the colon (large intestine) and rectum. Inflammatory bowel disease also can lead to issues outside of the intestine, including anemia, eye inflammation, skin ulcers, liver disease, kidney stones, impaired growth, joint pain and/or osteoporosis.
Approximately 1.4 million Americans live with inflammatory bowel disease, including many children, adolescents, teens and young adults. Early diagnosis and treatment is important for the ongoing management of the disease.
Our team of pediatric IBD experts provides comprehensive, compassionate care for your child.See a list of all our pediatric IBD physicians
Our physicians are actively involved in basic, clinical and translational research, including clinical studies of new treatments, laboratory studies of the underlying mechanisms of IBD and long-term observational studies.
Our Transitional IBD Clinic — one of the few in the country — is designed to meet the unique needs of teens and young adults, ages 15 to 22. The clinic is a bridge between pediatric and adult care that provides the tools and support that our young adult patients need in order to take a more active role in IBD management. For patients who attend college out-of-state, we help identify a local physician with to provide ongoing care.
More children are being diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease, and symptoms can start as early as 18 months old. But once treatment brings inflammation under control, kids can lead a normal life: going to school, playing sports and even eating most of their favorite food. Comer gastroenterologist Ranjana Gokhale, MD, shares her expertise.
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