Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic disorder estimated to afflict more than 1 million Americans. More than 30,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, and 20,000 people in Wisconsin have IBD. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two major forms of IBD.
Leading IBD Program in Southeastern Wisconsin
The Inflammatory Bowel Disease program at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin—the leading IBD program in southeastern Wisconsin—is unique in its approach to diagnosing and treating people with IBD.
In the IBD program, patient care and research are intertwined. No other facility in Wisconsin is conducting IBD research of this nature for the benefit of patients. Patients come to the IBD program for treatment from throughout Wisconsin, the nation and abroad.
Research to Improve Medical Treatments
Patients know that their involvement with the IBD program encompasses much more than their medical care. In an ongoing process, information gathered from each patient’s experience with IBD is used to influence and improve future medical treatments for all IBD patients. By focusing solely on treating people with IBD and gathering outcome data, treatment is optimized for all patients.
To accomplish this, each time patients visit the program, they complete a form to indicate their current health status (how they are feeling) and quality of life. This subjective and objective health information is collected, analyzed and validated, and then used as the basis for tailoring treatment to current as well as future patients.
Data collected in the program is influencing the treatment of IBD throughout the country. The IBD team is involved in multiple clinical trials evaluating new forms of therapy for IBD patients.
Treatments for IBD include the use of:
- New medications
- Surgery and extensive patient education to teach patients about their disease and foods and medications to avoid.
- Alternative treatments, such as acupuncture and probiotics (the therapeutic use of various beneficial bacteria)
Throughout treatment, patients are monitored to ensure the treatment is appropriate and to check for nutritional problems, bone health (which may be compromised by steroid treatment) and signs of other disease. The program also has established care protocols for women with IBD who are pregnant.