Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are a group of disorders, that can cause chronic or persistent inflammation of the digestive tract in adults and children. Common diseases in this group are Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis. Most patients have symptoms such as diarrhoea, weight loss, abdominal pain, or passage of blood in the stools. An accurate diagnosis requires good clinical assessment followed by pertinent laboratory tests. Usually a colonoscopy is required to visualise the inside of the colon to assess the disease and take biopsies to confirm the diagnosis. Crohn’s disease can also involve the small intestine and advanced procedures such as a small bowel endoscopy (Enteroscopy) or capsule endoscopy using a swallowed pill camera may be required for proper assessment of the disease. Special radiological techniques such as CT enteroclysis and MR enterograpy also helpful in assessing the extent and severity of the disease.
Fortunately, most patients have mild to moderate disease and can be treated with oral medications. For patients with more advanced disease, there are targeted drugs known as biological therapy (Infliximab, Adalimumab, Vedolizumab, Ustekinumab, Tofacitinib). These work on specific receptors on the immune cells that cause inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. These drugs provide excellent disease control. They have to be administered under close supervision of a physician experienced in the use of these drugs.
In rare circumstances, patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease can develop certain bowel related complications such as obstruction, profuse bleeding, or perforation. These may necessitate a surgical procedure to remove the affected parts of the bowel.
Dietetic therapy also plays an important role in the management of Inflammatory bowel disease. Nutrition management can be complicated and it is ideal to be under the supervision of an expert dietician.
Our Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Program is supported in a multi-disciplinary manner by expert adult gastroenterologists, paediatric gastroenterologists, endoscopists, bowel surgeons, radiologists and an efficient dietetic service. A patient enrolled in our Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program has access to all the required specialists. Apart from our doctors in Dubai, King’s College Hospital London, in the UK has one of the largest centres for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and patients with complex problems can have a second opinion from our IBD experts at King’s in London as well as have an opportunity to meet our visiting experts from London.