Mayo Clinic is a leading center for diagnosing and treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Each year, Mayo Clinic doctors treat more than 5,000 adults and children for IBD.
Mayo's specialized IBD clinics promote collaboration among gastroenterologists, radiologists, pathologists and nutritional care specialists to ensure that every person receives the most comprehensive, supportive and experienced care possible.
When IBD causes problems outside the intestinal tract, other specialists work closely with the primary treatment team.
In Minnesota, children with inflammatory bowel disorders are treated at Mayo's IBD Center for Children. Mayo Clinic pediatric specialists use innovative procedures and treatments to minimize side effects. They also work with families to address the developmental and psychosocial issues often associated with IBD.
Because an accurate diagnosis is essential for effective treatment, Mayo offers advanced screening and diagnostic services for IBD, In many cases, you can be diagnosed and start treatment within a few days. Read more about IBD diagnosis.
The goals of IBD therapy are to eliminate symptoms, prevent flare-ups (maintain long-term remission) and restore quality of life. Mayo Clinic specialists are often able to reduce or eliminate symptoms and restore quality of life, even in people who have not responded to treatment in the past. For most people, medications control symptoms and promote healing. Surgery is usually needed only if medications fail to improve symptoms or if precancerous changes in the colon or serious complications occur. In such cases, surgery can be performed by experienced colorectal surgeons who are at the forefront of minimally invasive surgery for bowel disorders.
More than 1.5 million Americans have Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, the most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease. Both conditions inflame the lining of the intestine, leading to bouts of watery diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal cramps and pain, fever, and weight loss.
Crohn's disease can occur anywhere in the digestive tract, often spreading deep into the layers of affected tissues. Ulcerative colitis usually affects only the innermost lining of the large intestine and rectum.
Pouchitis, which can cause symptoms similar to those of ulcerative colitis, is a complication that develops in some people who have their colon and rectum removed and a pouch created for processing wastes. Microscopic colitis primarily affects older women and causes watery diarrhea that may persist for years.
Learn more about inflammatory bowel disease.
Sam and Laura Kirstein biked across the country to show that people with inflammatory bowel disease can still lead an active life. "If you persevere, there is light at the end of the tunnel."