Anil R. Balani, MD, Director (Inflammatory Bowel Disease Specialist)
Ashlee N. Godshalk Ruggles, MD (Colorectal Surgeon)
Jason N. Rogart, MD, FASGE, Director (Interventional Gastroenterologist & Therapeutic Endoscopist)
The Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program at the Center for Digestive Health is a program dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of adult patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The program sees adult patients with newly diagnosed IBD, second opinion consultations for complex cases of IBD, and pediatric patients transitioning to adult GI care
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are complex diseases that can be quite disabling and can significantly impair a patient’s quality of life. In addition, there are many long term complications that can develop with IBD, including malnutrition, cancer, and need for surgery. It is important to detect the disease early, and implement the appropriate therapies to prevent some of the long term complications.
The key to effective management of IBD is coordinated care among specially trained physicians with expertise in inflammatory bowel disease. The IBD program at Capital Health offers a multi-disciplinary approach to optimize not only the care patients will receive, but also to better coordinate their care with referring physicians and other providers.
Our team consists of gastroenterologists, radiologists, pathologists, surgeons and nurses that provide state-of-the- art clinical care using advanced diagnostic studies and the latest medical therapies to diagnose and treat IBD.
While there is no cure for IBD, our goal is to help bring about and maintain a prolonged remission of IBD symptoms and signs of disease. We strive to enable patients to stay in control of their disease, and allow them to continue their activities of daily living without the limitations that often occur with active, uncontrolled IBD.
In additional, our program places special attention on preventative and health maintenance interventions including colon cancer screening, immunizations, counseling on smoking cessation, and addressing nutritional issues.
Background on Crohn's & Colitis
According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, inflammatory bowel disease affects an estimated 1.6 million Americans. IBD is typically diagnosed between the ages of 15 to 30, although there is a second peak in incidence after the age of 50. The frequency of these diseases appears to be increasing. In addition, these chronic diseases tend to run in families and they affect males and females equally.
Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Persistent diarrhea
- Rectal bleeding
- Urgent need to move bowels
- Sensation of incomplete bowel movement
General symptoms that may accompany these GI symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Fatigue, often associated with anemia
- Joint pains
- Vision changes
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Indeterminate colitis
- Microscopic colitis
- Lymphocytic colitis
- Collagenous colitis
Diagnostic & Treatment Options Offered by Our Center
- GI-focused lab testing
- Therapeutic drug monitoring
- State-of-the-art, on-site Infusion Center for biologic treatments
- Nutritional counseling
- Endoscopic testing – including upper endoscopy, small bowel capsule endoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and colonoscopy
- Advanced endoscopic testing- endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR), and single balloon enteroscopy
- Radiographic testing - CT and MRI enterography, small bowel series, interventional radiology services