The idiopathic inflammatory bowel diseases consist of ulcerative colitis which affects the large intestine, crohn’s disease which can affect the whole gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the rectum, and indeterminate colitis.
IBD is an immune mediated condition that affects approximately 1.5 million Americans. The course of the disease is chronic with remissions and exacerbations. At the moment there is no cure but there are several treatment options that are effective in inducing and maintaining the disease in remission. The medical options of treatment include medications like steroids which are helpful in inducing remission and immunosuppressive medications including biological therapy (adalimumab, certolizumab, infliximab and natalizumab) which are helpful in both inducing and maintaining remission. Other medical options include 6 Mercaptopurine/ Azathioprine and Methotrexate. There are other medical options being studied and in the near future there are likely to be more options. Long term steroid use or multiple courses of steroids is not advisable.
Surgical treatment options include drainage of abscesses; take down of fistulae, partial or total colectomy with an ostomy or creation of a pouch.