q Managing Inflammatory Bowel Disease in patients requires GI Specialists to keep up with latest knowledge - Harcourt Health

Managing Inflammatory Bowel Disease in patients requires GI Specialists to keep up with latest knowledge

Digestive and Liver Disease Consultants, PA has been treating patients with acute and chronic inflammatory bowel diseases with latest treatments and offering a holistic care to patients. Dr Reddy, Dr Hamat and their associates in the group have treated thousands of patients with IBD successfully.

The term inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) encompasses both Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, both being chronic inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal system.  Typical symptoms of IBD include abdominal pain, diarrhea and bloody stool.  Although there is no cure yet for these disorders, there continues to be significant progress in the management of these conditions in the way diagnostic testing is performed and in the way the disease is treated.

There are currently blood tests available that can identify genetic markers and antibodies that can indicate a patent’s risk for these conditions.  Although a positive test result does not in itself diagnose either of these conditions – it can identify patients who are susceptible and warrant further diagnostic testing.

Typically, patients suspected of having inflammatory bowel disease undergo a combination of imaging tests – including CT Scan or MRI, as well as endoscopic evaluation including colonoscopy to confirm the diagnosis.

An exciting new development in the management of IBD is the availability of a test that measures a protein in the stool that indicates inflammation within the intestinal tract.  This allows for the assessment of disease activity and response to treatment in patients by simply collecting a stool sample rather than conducting invasive testing or expensive radiographic studies.

There continues to be significant advances in the treatment of IBD.  It is well recognized that the most effective treatments for IBD are the Biologic Medications which havebeen relied upon for the last 25 years.  Until recently, there were limited biologic medications available – all of them having the same mechanism of action – neutralizing TNF, a molecule involved in promoting inflammation in the intestine.  For patients who did not respond to these medications, there were very few options available for treatment.  

In the past few years, two new biologic medications have been approved for treatment of IBD – both of which work by interacting with aspects of the immune system other than the TNF pathway.  Finally, in 2018 there are many more treatment choices available for patients.

In addition, there are new biologic medications soon to be approved, which will offer even more alternatives for patients with IBD, including some that may be taken orally without the need for painful injections or intravenous infusions.  

Although inflammatory bowel disease continues to be a challenge for both patients and doctors alike, advances in the diagnoses and treatment of these conditions has provided reason for optimism for the future.