Inflammatory Bowel Disease Treated by Experts at Mercy in Baltimore

Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy - Inflammatory Bowel

Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, includes disorders that cause inflammation of the intestines. This chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive tract is thought to be caused by an abnormal function of the immune system, which reacts against the body’s own intestinal tissue. At The Center for Inflammatory Bowel and Colorectal Diseases at Mercy in Baltimore, Dr. Mary Harris and Dr. Matilda Hagan work with patients to diagnose, treat, and manage their inflammatory bowel disease. Women especially seek the expertise of Dr. Harris who is recognized as an authority on managing inflammatory bowel disease in conjunction with pregnancy.

About the Condition

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two most common types of inflammatory bowel disease. The inflammation in Crohn’s disease can be located in patches throughout the digestive tract, whereas in ulcerative colitis, the inflammation is located in one continuous portion of the large intestine. Other types of inflammatory bowel disease can include collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis.

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Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

The various types of inflammatory bowel disease often have similar symptoms, which include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Blood in stool
  • Ulcers
  • Reduced appetite
  • Weight loss

To diagnose inflammatory bowel disease, various tests may be conducted, including:

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Treatment Options

Inflammatory bowel disease is first treated with drug therapy such as infliximab, also known as Remicade, biologic agents, immunomodulators, antibiotics, steroids, or mesalamine products. If medications are not successful, surgery may be needed to remove the bowel obstructions to relieve the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.