Gastroenterology & Hepatology

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Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a chronic disease which can affect both the large intestine and the small intestines. There are two main types of inflammatory bowel diseases;   ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disease restricted to the colon. Crohn’s disease can affect the small intestine and the colon. These diseases are due to unregulated inflammation. Uncontrolled inflammation can cause damage to the lining of the intestines.  Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can cause severe symptoms and lead to a poor quality of life if not taken care of appropriately.


IBD Statistics

IBD afflicts more than one million Americans and approximately 100,000 children with over 30,000 new cases being diagnosed each year.


Symptoms of IBD

  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain or cramps
  • Blood passing through the rectum
  • Fever, night sweats
  • Weight loss
  • Joint, skin or eye irritations, rashes
  • Delayed growth and malnutrition


Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Treatment of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can be medical, surgical or sometimes a combination of both.

There are many highly effective medications available for treatment and control of both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Medical treatment has to be closely monitored for effectiveness and development of side effects.


Quality of life

The aim of medical and surgical treatment is to give complete control of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Thus providing highest quality of life to the patients.


Our Program

At the Medical College of Wisconsin and Froedtert Hospital we have a long tradition of caring for patients with Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis. We have a team of gastroenterologists, surgeons, physician assistants, radiologists and nurses who focus on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with these diseases.

Our program has always been in the forefront of inflammatory bowel disease research.  This has helped us to more optimally utilize current drug therapies and offer state-of-the-art options for management. We believe in using available and novel therapies to provide personalized approach to those with inflammatory bowel disease care.

Our clinical experience has been a driving force for research driven discoveries leading to improved patient care:

  • We identified factors related to increased treatment success and durability of immunosuppressive medication regimens. 
  • We identified the significant negative impact of Clostridium difficile infection on IBD and adapted treatment protocols to improve therapy.
  • We identified the negative impact of vitamin deficiencies on IBD.
  • We helped describe factors related to the improved quality of life in pregnant IBD patients.
  • We optimized surgical outcomes with timely medical treatment with specialized surgical expertise.
  • We have helped identify characteristics of IBD patients at risk for colon cancer, and instituted novel screening protocols with the aim to minimize colon cancer risk.
  • We have helped maximize the yield of accepted radiological modalities by fine tuning their use for specific personalized conditions.


Ways to Manage Pain Caused by IBD

  • Use warm sitz baths to reduce irritation and discomfort in the rectum.
  • A heating pad placed on the abdomen can help reduce discomfort and cramping.
  • Since it is widely known that stress can play an integral role in IBD flares, try to reduce the amount of stress in your daily life.
  • Try to avoid taking narcotic pain medication as it can cause constipation.
  • Proper dietary intake can reduce pain by decreasing the amount of symptoms caused by foods high in grease and those that are spicy.
  • You only have one colon so take care of it. Follow instructions given to you by your physician. If you have a question, don’t be afraid to ask.



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Page Updated 10/02/2014