The Pediatric IBD Center at the University of Maryland Children's Hospital is committed to providing the best medical care to your child so that he or she can live a productive and healthy life. We help patients, their families and other health care providers understand IBD and its unique effects on children.

What is IBD?

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a lifelong health condition that affects the body’s gastrointestinal tract and may also involve other areas of the body too. For patients with IBD, the intestinal tract becomes inflamed by different triggers and irritation does not go away. Some people can be at risk for IBD because of family traits.

The two main types of IBD are Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). About 25% of all people with IBD are children/young adults (about 50,000 kids in the United States).

Symptoms of IBD

Symptoms of IBD may include: bloody/mucousy diarrhea, abdominal pain, fevers, weight loss, poor appetite, being tired (lethargy), poor growth/short stature, delayed puberty, joint pain/swelling, red or purple painful rashes and eye pain/redness.

Diagnosing IBD

If you suspect your child may have IBD, our office may run a series of tests including blood tests, stool tests and radiology studies of the gastrointestinal tract.

If your child is diagnosed with IBD, they will need nutritional therapy. For some patients with mild to moderate IBD, dietary treatment may be enough to help with symptoms. In more severe cases, children may need to take medications or even need surgery.