More than 1.5 million Americans are affected with Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis and the frequency of these disorders appears to be increasing. Both are immune disorders of the intestine that can cause chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, bleeding, anemia and weight loss. An accurate diagnosis is essential for optimal management and is one of the strengths of this group of specialists.
Several promising therapies are offering hope to patients with chronic ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, the most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These agents include certain classes of anti-inflammatory drugs; immune system modulators that regulate the body's immune response - and in the process control inflammation; a class of antibiotics that acts on the immune system; drugs approved by the FDA for other immune system disorders; and new therapies available within clinical trials.
Unfortunately there is no cure at the present time for IBD. Therefore, the goals of treatment are to suppress inflammatory episodes (causing the disease to go into remission) and improve quality of life. Gastroenterologists at The Digestive Disease Institute at Virginia Mason are recognized internationally for their treatment of patients with IBD.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a Virginia Mason gastroenterologist, call (206) 223-2319.