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Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The University of Chicago Medicine is at the forefront of treatment and research into inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), with a multidisciplinary team of world-renowned experts who collaborate to bring patients the best possible treatment and the latest research and innovations into these complex conditions.

Inflammatory bowel disease is an umbrella term that includes Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis (UC) and indeterminate colitis. These painful diseases involve an abnormal response by the immune system that damages the lining of the digestive system, causing inflammation and ulceration, severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stools, fatigue and/or weight loss.

Crohn's disease can occur anywhere in the digestive tract, while ulcerative colitis primarily affects the colon (large intestine) and rectum. Inflammatory bowel disease also can lead to issues outside of the intestine, including anemia, eye inflammation, skin ulcers, liver disease, kidney stones, impaired growth, joint pain and/or osteoporosis. Although the exact cause of IBD is unknown, research shows that genes, an overactive immune system and environmental factors all likely play a role.

Because Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are complex and chronic conditions, it's important to work with physicians who understand their intricacies and have access to the latest therapies. The University of Chicago Medicine Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center is made up of a team of experts in clinical care and research, basic science and translational approaches – all working together to further knowledge of IBD causes and treatments. Our team approach ensures that every aspect of a patient’s care involves specialists from different disciplines, all experienced in the management of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. » Learn more about the IBD Center.

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Digestive Diseases Center
Our physicians and researchers deliver outstanding patient care while working to discover new treatments for digestive diseases. Read more about the Digestive Diseases Center (PDF).