Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Services
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) involves chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Our Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease team — part of the Orlando Health Digestive Health Institute — provides subspecialty care for IBD. Our physicians are trained in the use of endoscopy (treatments performed through thin, flexible endoscope tubes) to treat a range of IBD conditions and complications. These include:
- Crohn’s disease
- Early-stage tumors
- Microscopic colitis
- Ulcerative colitis
Causes of IBD
While the exact cause of IBD is not known, the condition can affect people of any age. IBD can also be passed down through families (hereditary).
IBD can be difficult to diagnose. That’s because IBD symptoms are often mistaken for other conditions. IBD can also go into remission. This means your disease is not active and symptoms may not be present. Symptoms of IBD include:
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Diarrhea (which can be bloody)
- Draining of pus, mucus or stools from around the rectum or anus (fistula)
- Joint pain and swelling
- Mouth ulcers
- Sudden need to use the bathroom (fecal urgency)
- Rectal pain
- Weight loss/loss of appetite
To diagnose IBD properly, your doctor will perform a physical exam followed by blood and stool studies. Other laboratory tests, imaging studies and endoscopic procedures may be used to accurately diagnose IBD.
Tests used to diagnose IBD and monitor response to treatment include:
- Colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy
- C-Reactive Protein (CRP) test
- CT enterography of the abdomen
- Double balloon endoscopy
- Endoscopic rectal ultrasound
- Fecal calprotectin
- MRI enterography of the abdomen
- Surgical exam/Exam under anesthesia
- Upper endoscopy
- Video capsule endoscopy (also called a “pill camera”)
There is no known cure for IBD, but therapies can help control symptoms and reduce inflammation to help you achieve remission. Treatments may include medications, diet changes and surgery.
Medications for IBD
If you are diagnosed with IBD, your doctor may try treating your symptoms first with medication. Steroids are often used at the beginning of a disease flare up to control inflammation. Steroids can only be used for a short period of time. After treatment with steroids, your doctor may prescribe medications that you can take for longer periods of time.
Diet and IBD
There is no data to show that diet causes or cures IBD, but diet changes may help improve your symptoms. Your physician may recommend that you add or eliminate certain foods from your diet to help reduce IBD symptoms. If diet changes are recommended, we will work with you to make sure you are getting the right amount of nutrients to maintain your health.
Surgery for IBD
IBD is often present long before it is diagnosed. Because of this, people with IBD may have damage to their intestine that is harder to treat with medicine or diet changes. Your physician may recommend surgery to remove a damaged or diseased part of the intestine.