IBD Specialist

Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. -  - Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates, P.A.

Gastroenterology & Hepatology located in Annapolis, MD, Kent Island, MD, Odenton, MD, Bowie, MD, Pasadena, MD & Greenbelt, MD

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) isn't a single condition but includes both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. If you have any of the distressing and painful symptoms IBD can cause, the experienced team at Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. can help. They offer advanced IBD management using the latest techniques at their facilities in Annapolis, Stevensville, Odenton, Bowie, and Pasadena, Maryland. Call the office nearest you to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.


What is IBD?

IBD is an umbrella term for two incurable conditions, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, that cause gastrointestinal inflammation.

While IBD can affect anyone at any age, most people develop it before reaching 30. IBD can be life-changing and severely disabling; it may also cause life-threatening complications in some people.

IBD is an autoimmune disorder, which means your immune system is malfunctioning and attacking healthy cells as though they posed a threat. The cause of this problem isn't entirely clear, but risk factors such as genetics increase your chances of developing IBD.

If you have IBD, expert management is critical to your chances of leading a long and active life. Fortunately, the team at Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates provides the specialized care you need.

What symptoms does IBD cause?

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis have some key symptoms they both share, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Bloody stools
  • Reduced appetite
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Fever

Crohn's disease can affect any part of your gastrointestinal system, while ulcerative colitis affects the large intestine (bowel) and rectum. 

In addition to these shared symptoms, you could develop problems like fecal incontinence, fistulas, and serious complications such as toxic megacolon.

How is IBD treated?

IBD treatments provided at Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates aim to relieve your symptoms. With careful management of your condition, you could even enter a period of remission that lasts for months or years.

The initial treatment is typically mesalamine or another aminosalicylate medication that helps reduce the inflammation in your gastrointestinal system. You can take these medicines as a suppository, oral granules, or both.

You might also need to take medication for abdominal or rectal pain, in which case you should avoid ibuprofen because it can make IBD worse.

What can I do if my IBD symptoms don't improve?

If your IBD symptoms aren't improving using aminosalicylate medication, your gastroenterologist might recommend corticosteroids, which are potent anti-inflammatory medications. Steroids are more likely to cause side effects and aren't suitable for long-term use, but they can be beneficial for some patients.

IBD symptoms that persist despite these methods might require treatment with immune system suppressors such as azathioprine and cyclosporine, or newer drugs called biologics. They can help calm your immune response, which is likely to be the source of your inflammation.

If you're suffering from symptoms of IBD, get a fast, reliable diagnosis and the best available treatments at Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. Call the office that’s most convenient for you or book online today.