Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic inflammatory condition affecting several organ systems. Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and occasionally indeterminate colitis offer unique challenges to patients as well as clinicians. Gastroenterologists often need to collaborate with primary care physicians, pathologists, radiologists, colorectal surgeons, psychiatrists and dietitians to provide multi-faceted care. In addition to obvious symptoms of IBD such as diarrhea and rectal bleeding, patients often suffer from malnutrition and psychosocial stress from chronic illness. The Crohn’s and Colitis at ADH offers easy access to a multidisciplinary team that is well trained to manage the multi-faceted needs of IBD patients.
An expert gastroenterologist will play a pivotal role in helping patients achieve and maintain disease remission. We will work closely with primary care physicians to prevent and actively treat osteopenia, osteoporosis, Vitamin D deficiency, B12 deficiency, increased infections, skin cancer and several other conditions that have an increased incidence among patients on chronic immunosuppressive therapies.
Another goal of the Crohn’s and Colitis center at ADH is to provide refractory patients with easy access to emerging therapies. Patients are able to participate in various clinical trials throughout the valley without having to travel long distances or being restricted by their insurance carrier.
Occasionally, it is difficult to differentiate between various disease states based on clinical and endoscopic features alone. Further, patients with IBD are at increased risk for developing malignancies. Patients who fail medical therapy will be able to seek surgical options from colorectal surgeons highly trained in minimally invasive surgical techniques thereby reducing recovery time, morbidity and risk of complications.
There seems to be great variability among radiologists when reading imaging studies for patients with IBD. Rapidly changing technologies provide newer imaging modalities but also add to reader variability and ambiguous results. In order to minimize performer variability and need for additional diagnostic testing, the Crohn’s and Colitis center at ADH collaborates with radiology groups willing to dedicate expert radiologists who will consistently read imaging studies for patients with IBD.
Inflammatory bowel disease patients face dietary challenges on a daily basis. Their needs change based on disease state, disease activity, prior surgeries and other co-morbidities. The Crohn’s and Colitis center at ADH offers patients the opportunity to meet with a registered dietitian to help with their ever changing dietary challenges.
Finally, ADH has offices throughout the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Patients will be able to receive the same comprehensive care should they face unforeseen life events such as a move from one part of the valley to another or unexpected hospitalization outside their area of residence.
At the Crohn’s and Colitis center at ADH, we hope to meet the complex needs of IBD patients and improve patient outcomes by providing state of the art care through a multi-disciplinary approach.