IBD is a chronic disease that can be controlled, but we do not yet have a cure. Patients experience flares (when symptoms are present) followed by periods of remission (when symptoms are not present). The goal of treatment is to help all patients achieve remission, control of symptoms, experience normal growth and lead a normal life.
Medications typically are the first line of treatment for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. There are many different types of drugs that can help to control inflammation in the digestive tract. While these medications do not cure inflammatory bowel disease, they can alleviate or eliminate symptoms and lead to remission. The team at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital has access to the latest medical advances in IBD care and will work with your family to create a personalized plan that is best for the course of your child's condition.
In more severe cases of inflammatory bowel disease, surgery may be necessary. Patients with Crohn's disease may need surgery for strictures, fistula and/or bowel obstruction. Some patients with ulcerative colitis may eventually require complete removal of the large intestine.
We recognize that surgery is stressful and that you will probably have a lot of questions. That's why our integrated team of gastroenterologists and surgeons work together to provide support while also helping you find the right solution for your child. Many of our pediatric surgeons specialize in minimally invasive procedures, which reduce scarring and help children return to activities faster than traditional surgery.
Diet and Nutrition
Your physician may discuss dietary changes. Although there is no data to suggest that diet causes or cures IBD, reducing or increasing intake of certain foods may help to decrease symptoms. We also make sure your child is getting the appropriate nutritional support to reverse any dietary deficiencies and provide sufficient nutrients for normal weight gain, growth and puberty.