Center for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Board-Certified Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition located throughout Illinois
Approximately one million people in the U.S. suffer from inflammatory bowel disease. Of those affected, nearly one quarter were diagnosed before turning 20. If your child suffers from the symptoms associated with unmanageable intestinal inflammation, call or make an appointment online today at The Center for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition throughout Illinois.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Q & A
What is inflammatory bowel disease?
Your child’s immune system, as well as your own, is comprised of a network of cells and tissues that defend the body from infection. A medical issue like inflammatory bowel disease causes your child’s immune system to mistakenly attack healthy cells.
Inflammatory bowel disease affects your child’s quality of life and includes:
Crohn's disease affects your child’s entire gastrointestinal tract and damages the whole bowel wall.
Ulcerative colitis causes sores on the inner lining of your child’s colon.
What are the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease?
Abdominal pain and diarrhea are the most common symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel disease. Other symptoms include:
- Bloody stool
- Low energy
- Weight loss
Other issues associated with Inflammatory bowel disease include rashes, joint pain, and delayed puberty.
How is inflammatory bowel disease diagnosed?
To diagnose inflammatory bowel disease in your child, the doctors at The Center for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition use a combination of blood and stool testing along with diagnostic imaging.
Your child’s doctor tests his or her blood for inflammation examines his or her stool sample for the presence of blood.
Using an instrument called an endoscope, which is a long, thin tube attached to a TV monitor your child’s doctor performs a procedure called a colonoscopy. The apparatus gets inserted through your child’s anus and allows the doctor to see inflammation, bleeding, or ulcers on the wall of your child’s colon. It is not uncommon for your doctor to conduct a biopsy and send small tissue samples for further testing.
How is inflammatory bowel disease treated?
Treatment for inflammatory bowel disease is different for every affected child. Since there’s no cure, the goal of medical treatment is to relieve symptoms, prevent flares, promote healing, and remission. To do so, the doctors at The Center for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition prescribe:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Immunosuppressive agents
- Biologic agents
- Nutrition therapy
Some of the medications prescribed for inflammatory bowel disease make it harder to fight infections. Therefore, it's important to have your child tested for tuberculosis and get all required vaccinations before starting treatment.
Whether your child has already been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease or is experiencing symptoms, the expert team at The Center for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition can help. If you live in or near the Southern and Western Chicago suburbs, call or make an appointment online today.