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Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
in Denver

What are Inflammatory Bowel Diseases?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of disorders that cause chronic inflammation of the intestines. There are two main types of IBD, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Common signs and symptoms of IBD may include:

These conditions can affect people of all ages, but most commonly affects people between the ages of 15-30. The exact cause of IBD is unknown, however, experts believe it may be caused by an immune system malfunction or hereditary factors. There are also some factors that increase your risk of developing IBD including have a family history of IBD, smoking cigarettes and taking high doses of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil or Aleve.

Thriving With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Treatment Options for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

While there is no cure for IBD, treatment is done to help reduce the inflammation that causes symptoms. There are a number of different drug therapies that can be used to manage the disease, as well as surgery, including the following:


Aminosalicylates, or 5-ASAs, are often the first treatment option for mild to moderate ulcerative colitis. They may also be less often prescribed for mild Crohn’s disease. These medications work by reducing inflammation and allowing damaged tissues to heal.


Antibiotics can be used to treat complications associated with IBD such as abscesses and fistulas as well as for treatment of other IBD symptoms. They are often used in conjunction with other drugs.


Corticosteroids such as prednisone work to help lower inflammation in the GI tract. However, they should only be used on a short-term basis, as they have a high potential for side effects.


These medications work by suppressing the immune system to reduce levels of inflammation in those with IBD. Common examples include azathioprine (Imuran), methotrexate, and ciclosporin among others.


Biologics are medications made from living organisms that work on the immune system, targeting specific proteins that cause inflammation. Common examples of biologics used to treat IBD include Adalimumab (Humira), Certolizumab (Cimzia), Ustekinumab (Stelara), and Vedolizumab (Entyvio) among others.


If diet and lifestyle changes and medications do not work to treat your IBD symptoms, surgery may be recommended. For individuals with ulcerative colitis, the removal of the colon (colectomy) or the removal of the colon and rectum (proctocolectomy) may be performed. For those with Crohn’s disease, a bowel resection may be an option, during which the surgeon will remove the diseased portion of the bowel.

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It is never pleasant to have gastro problems, however, the staff at your office from top to bottom have been very accommodating. They take a personal interest in your condition and imagine this; THEY RETURN PHONE MESSAGES PROMPTLY. I'm not completely better yet but have total confidence they will get me there. I highly recommend this practice.

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What is the Difference between IBD and IBS?

Oftentimes, people get Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) confused with each other. However, they are two different conditions with different symptoms. While IBD is a disease, IBS is a group of symptoms. IBS also does not inflame or damage the intestines as IBD does, and surgery and hospitalization for IBS are rare. However, it is possible for an individual to have both IBD and IBS at the same time.

How are Inflammatory Bowel Disease Diagnosed?

If you are experiencing the symptoms associated with IBD, your doctor will recommend a number of tests to confirm a diagnosis. These tests may include blood tests, stool tests, colonoscopy, upper endoscopy, X-ray, CT scan, MRI or more.


How do you know if you have inflammatory bowel disease?

Some common symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease are abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and blood and mucus in the stool.

Can inflammatory bowel disease be cured?

While at this time, inflammatory bowel disease cannot be cured, effective treatment options are available, with newer treatments becoming available each year. Treatment is focused on not only controlling inflammation to prevent complications, but also in complimentary measures to control symptoms and optimize overall health. South Denver GI is a clinical leader in managing this complex and life changing disease. Our comprehensive IBD Program includes a dedicated infusion center at our Lone Tree clinic and compassionate nurses available for ongoing support.

What does colitis poop look like?

Colitis patients may have frequent diarrhea, change in stool caliber, looser stools and sometimes bloody stools.

What is the difference between irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome may have similar symptoms. However, IBD is caused by inflammation of the bowel wall, while IBS is a disorder without overt inflammation or damage, but which can still cause disruptions of gastrointestinal tract functions.

What happens during inflammatory bowel disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease is mediated by the immune system, primarily causing inflammation of the small and or large intestine that may lead to pain, diarrhea, bleeding, bowel obstruction and other complications. Systemic inflammation can also occur, so a whole body approach is impotant for effective management.

Is bowel inflammation serious?

Inflammatory bowel disease is not typically fatal. However, it is a serious condition that can cause severe complications. If it is uncontrolled it can lead to surgery, chronic symptoms and poor quality of life.

How can I reduce bowel inflammation?

Some treatment options to reduce bowel inflammation include antibiotics, 5 ASAs, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, biologics, dietary and lifestyle changes or surgery.

What is the best diet for inflammatory bowel disease?

It is best to pursue a healthy diet as you would to support your bodys overall well being. Our clinical team can also help with additional dietary recommendations to reduce bowel inflammation.

What foods can make symptoms worse?

While it is not clear if foods can actually cause bowel inflammation or flares, some foods may exacerbated IBD symptoms. Examples include spicy foods, fatty or greasy foods, carbonated beverages, alcohol, caffeine or high-sugar foods.

What is the difference between Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis?

Crohns disease may affect any portion of the GI tract and often involves multiple separate areas, while ulcerative colits only involves the colon and rectum. Crohns disease may also be associated with obsrtuction, fistulas and other complications, while ulcerative colitis is typically associated with bloody diarrhea. Many of the same treatments are used to treat both Crohns and ulcerative colitis.

What are the types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis are the two types of inflammatory bowel disease.

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At South Denver GI, our team of physicians and advanced practice providers have the expertise to provide you with outstanding care. If you would like to learn more about Inflammatory Bowel Diseases or need to schedule an appointment at our office, contact us today!

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