More than one million Americans suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), primarily Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Affecting people of any age, race or gender, IBD causes chronic inflammation of all or part of the digestive tract. Crohn’s can strike in any part of the system, while ulcerative colitis is only found in the large bowel. Patients’ symptoms vary widely, but the most common are diarrhea, abdominal pain or both.
As with many other digestive disorders, patients with IBD are constantly on a quest to find the right treatment regimen to relieve the symptoms that interfere with their everyday lives. This search for effective IBD treatments was one of the many topics my colleagues and I discussed during Digestive Disease Week® (DDW), the world’s largest gathering of physicians and researchers in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.