Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) causes long-lasting inflammation in the digestive tract. Its symptoms and potential complications can impact your ability to eat your favorite foods or go about daily life. 

At Nuvance Health, you receive services from a team that understands your needs and can help you get relief. We offer a level of IBD care that’s not widely available in New York’s Hudson Valley and Western Connecticut.

About Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

IBD occurs when the immune system attacks the digestive tract. There may be periods with no symptoms (remission) and times when they unexpectedly worsen (flare). 

There are two main types of IBD. They cause similar issues but affect different areas: 

  • Crohn’s disease can happen in the small or large intestine (colon).
  • Ulcerative colitis only occurs in the colon.

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis both cause pain and urgent, frequent bowel movements. You may have difficulty absorbing nutrients from food or complications affecting the joints, skin or eyes. IBD flares can occur during a woman’s period or affect her fertility. 

Mother playing with daughter

IBD Care at Nuvance Health: Why Choose Us?

Fellowship-trained gastroenterologists guide your care. Many of these specialists have been treating IBD patients for years. They use innovative tests and therapies, some of which you might not expect to find in community settings like ours. We often detect uncommon symptoms and early-stage flares so that you receive timely services. Highlights of our program include:

  • Team approach
    Gastroenterologists work with colorectal surgeons, radiologists, nurses, nutritionists and more. We regularly hold case conferences during which the team discusses complex cases. These efforts help you receive personalized care, including timely tests and treatments.
  • Newer medications
    When new IBD medications become available, you’ll often find them at Nuvance Health. We also offer access to other treatment options only available through clinical trials. Learn more about research and innovation. 
  • Personalized care
    We tailor therapies to your needs, which for some people includes referrals to dermatologists and women's health providers. If you have questions between appointments, the IBD team is easy to reach through MyNuvanceHealth patient portals.  
  • Ongoing treatment
    Our genuine concern for your well-being means we are here for you when you need us. When symptoms flare, we help you access the services you need to feel better. We also continue caring for you even when you are not experiencing symptoms.

Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis Services

We deliver comprehensive services that include regular testing and follow-ups that help us assess your response to treatment. This approach often detects flares before symptoms start so that you receive timely care. Our IBD services include: 

  • Testing: Assessing IBD often involves procedures, such as endoscopy, which uses long thin tubes with a camera at the tip to check for inflammation. We offer capsule endoscopy, a pill with a tiny camera you swallow that captures images while moving through the digestive system.
  • Medications: Treatment may involve multiple medications, including anti-inflammatories and drugs that quiet an overactive immune system. You receive some medications by infusion, which delivers large doses of drugs through a vein. These therapies are available in special clinics (infusion centers) throughout the region. 
  • Support: Specially trained nurses answer your questions between appointments, obtain insurance approvals and help with disability paperwork, if necessary. The team also includes doctors specializing in the unique nutritional needs of people with IBD. They provide diet recommendations that can minimize flares.
  • Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove diseased tissue and make repairs. We frequently use minimally invasive techniques that use smaller incisions and preserve healthy tissue. Find out more about colorectal surgery.
  • Health maintenance: Living with IBD can raise your risk for other health issues, including common illnesses, like the flu and certain cancers. We recommend the vaccines and screening tests that are right for your needs, which often include a colorectal cancer screening (colonoscopy).