Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can hamper your life. Pain, diarrhea, and fatigue make daily life hard. You might have a lot of questions. What should you eat? Do you need probiotics? Will treatment work?

At UVA, we take the time to listen to how IBD impacts your life. We then walk you through your specific case. We help you understand your options for managing your symptoms.

Your UVA IBD Team

You’ll have a team dedicated to this disease and to you. You can lean on our nurse care coordinators and support team to provide crucial tools and resources. And you can trust the experience of our skilled GI doctors. Many of our specialists engage in research to discover new approaches to IBD care.

What is IBD?

Inflammatory bowel disease includes two conditions: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both result from inflammation in your GI tract.

We don’t know what causes IBD. We do know that it can be genetic. Also, like any autoimmune disease, your immune system fails to act normally. This creates the inflamed tissue.

Ulcerative colitis affects your colon and rectum. The inflammation shows up in one large connected area.

Crohn’s disease, on the other hand, can affect any part of your GI tract. The inflammation can flare up in patches.

Both can cause you to have recurring:

  • Diarrhea
  • Pain
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Tiredness
  • Weight loss

Many conditions can cause these problems. You’ll need more tests and scans to confirm the source of your symptoms.

Treatment for IBD at UVA

No cure exists for IBD. But we do have the latest interventions. These include both medicine and surgery. With care and support, you can find the energy you need to do what you love.

Medical treatments for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis include:

  • Steroids
  • Immunomodulators
  • 5-aminosalicylates
  • Biologics

Your doctor will help decide which treatment is best for you based on your disease, how severe it is, and other co-existing medical problems.

Clinical Trials

We offer clinical trials for our patients. Joining a clinical study gives you access to robust, research-driven care. If you're looking for the newest therapies for IBD, search our clinical trials

Surgery for IBD

Surgery can remove part of your intestine if medicine fails to help. Our surgeons have had training in many techniques to treat both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.