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We work closely with each patient to develop ongoing, effective treatment plans that improve and maintain overall health and nutrition while minimizing side effects and relieving the discomfort and stress of inflammatory bowel disease.
IBD is a chronic disease that can usually be controlled with the appropriate medicine. Patients experience flare-ups (when symptoms are present) that are followed by periods of remission (when symptoms are not present). Although there is no cure for IBD, the goal of treatment is to help patients achieve remission, avoid relapses and have the best quality of life. Our IBD team feels that, in most cases, continuous treatment is more successful than periodic intervention during flare-ups. To ensure we offer comprehensive care, our physicians meet weekly to collaborate on cases, share viewpoints and weigh the pros and cons of different IBD management plans.
Medications typically are the first line of treatment for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. There are several types of drugs that can help control inflammation in the digestive tract. While these medications do not cure inflammatory bowel disease, they can alleviate or eliminate symptoms and lead to remission. The team at UChicago Medicine has access to the latest medical advances in IBD care and will work with patients to create a personalized plan that is best for the course of their condition. We are one of a handful of research centers testing IBD treatments and our physicians have extensive experience with even the newest medications before they are available to other institutions.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary. Patients with Crohn's disease may need surgery for strictures, fistula and/or bowel obstruction. Some patients with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis may eventually require complete removal of the large intestine.
We know you will likely have a lot of questions about the best treatment plan. Our team of gastroenterologists and surgeons work together to provide you with all of the information you need. Many of our IBD surgeons specialize in minimally invasive procedures, which reduce scarring and help patients heal and return to activities faster than traditional surgery.
Your physician may discuss dietary changes. Although there is no data to suggest that diet causes or cures IBD, reducing or increasing intake of certain foods may help to decrease symptoms. We also make sure you are getting the appropriate nutritional support to reverse any dietary deficiencies and provide sufficient nutrients.
With so many available treatment options for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), patients and caregivers must make the choices that best fit their needs. Join David T. Rubin, MD, for an educational webcast that will provide in-depth information on IBD treatments and the resources needed to make informed decisions about managing IBD care.
Biologics are used to treat inflammatory bowel disease because they help your immune system target certain proteins in your body that cause inflammation.
We understand that IBD is a complicated disease that can have a broad impact on quality of life. Our IBD360TM initiative provides patients with all of the care they need for their complex illness. Through this program, we facilitate parallel visits with experts in rheumatology, dermatology, gynecology, psychology and social work as well as our clinical trials group. In addition, we offer specialty care to address the challenges facing teenagers and women with IBD.
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 out-of-state college, we help identify a local physician with whom we can partner to provide ongoing care.
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis can affect women differently than men. Our new comprehensive Fertility, Pregnancy and Sexual Function Program for women with inflammatory bowel disease brings together specialists from a variety of disciplines, including obstetrics and gynecology and gastroenterology, to address these challenges. We focus on helping women manage their disease before, during and after pregnancy.
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