Living with inflammatory bowel disease

New medicines and emotional support help young adults cope with IBD

March 05, 2015
Inflammatory bowel disease in young adults

More than 1.4 million Americans have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)—the umbrella term for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Symptoms are often painful and distressing, including severe stomach cramps, rectal bleeding and frequent diarrhea, sometimes requiring up to 15 trips to the bathroom each day.

“Many patients are teens and young adults,” says Dr. Nimisha Parekh, director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program at UC Irvine Health. “For young people, it’s especially hard to cope with IBD.” Parekh is one of only a few fellowship-trained IBD specialists in the country.

If you have IBD, working with a team of specialists to customize your treatment is essential. This includes experts in both the physical and emotional aspects of the disease. The UC Irvine Health Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program combines the expertise of doctors from many specialties, including gastroenterology, colorectal surgery, radiology and pathology. Working together, they provide a definitive diagnosis and the newest medical and surgical treatments, including access to clinical trials. The team also includes specialized nurses, nutritionists and social workers, all of whom are sensitive to the social and emotional challenges posed by IBD.

“This is an exciting time in the field of inflammatory bowel disease, as there are many new medications available and more in the pipeline,” says Parekh. “With individualized management plans, patients with this chronic condition do very well.”

To learn more, visit ucirvinehealth.org/IBD.

— UC Irvine Health Marketing & Communications
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UC Irvine Health - Winter 2014/2015 Issue

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