Inflammatory Bowel Disease Conditions and Treatments
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The University of Maryland Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program, located within the Digestive Diseases Center, is a regional and national referral center for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Our staff will work closely with referring doctors to keep them abreast of each patient's treatment and progress.
The IBD Program is a multi-disciplinary practice with specialists in gastroenterology, general surgery, radiology and support services dedicated to accurately diagnosing and managing IBD and increasing patients' quality of life. We also place a strong emphasis on educating patients about their illness, engaging patients in management of their disease, detecting and avoiding medication side effects and improving monitoring of symptoms.
As an academic medical center, all of the physicians are faculty members at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In addition to treating patients, we train future gastroenterologists and surgeons and conduct research to improve the treatment and care of IBD patients.
The IBD Program's expertise, combined with the resources of the University of Maryland Medical Center, distinguish us as a first-rate, comprehensive center of excellence.
Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic condition of the intestines. The cause of IBD is not well understood, but may be related to the response of the body's immune system against bacteria in the intestines.
The bacteria cause the lining of the intestinal tract to become inflamed (red and swollen). IBD is thought of as an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is a disease in which the immune system attacks itself rather than the bacteria.
The IBD Program's focus is on Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, but we also treat a wide array of gastrointestinal illnesses including:
- Microscopic colitis
- Autoimmune enteropathy
- Lymphocytic enterocolitis
- Infectious colitis
- Celiac disease
In the early stages of both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, medication is the recommended treatment. The goal treatment is to reduce the inflammation that triggers signs and symptoms. In the best cases, this may lead to symptom relief as well as long-term remission and reduced risks of complications. At this time, there is no medical treatment that will cure inflammatory bowel disease.
In more advanced stages of the disease, surgery is often necessary. The type of surgery performed is specific to each disease. The University of Maryland Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program provides excellence in both medical and surgical therapies. Most importantly, each treatment -- whether it is medical or surgical -- is tailored to meet the needs of each individual patient.
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