The Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program, of the Division of Gastroenterology at Washington University in St.Louis, is dedicated exclusively to the evaluation and treatment IBD patients. Our specialists’ experience is among the highest in the area. We provide exceptional care of the IBD patient as a result of our medical expertise, experience using the cutting-edge therapies, and active IBD research trial program, combined with access to specialized surgical care from the Washington University Colorectal Surgery Department.
FOR A CLINIC APPOINTMENT, CALL: 314-747-2066 OR 800 858-3541
Patients can self-refer or be referred by their primary physician.
Patients are seen at:
Center for Advanced Medicine
4921 Parkview Place, Suite C, Floor 8
St. Louis, MO 63110
Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital
The IBD Specialists:
Themos Dassopoulos, MD, Director
William Stenson, MD
Alexandra Gutierrez, MD, MPH
Matt Ciorba, MD
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic condition involving the intestinal tract. It is estimated that up to 1.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with IBD. There are two recognized forms of IBD:
Crohn's Disease (CD) - Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It predominates in the small intestines and colon, but may occur anywhere in the GI tract. The symptoms depend on the location of the diseased bowel. Abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss are common. Sometimes diarrhea, fever, rectal bleeding, or disease around the anal canal may occur. In addition to medications, surgery to remove inflamed bowel is often necessary to treat Crohn’s disease.
Ulcerative Colitis (UC) - This is also a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Ulcerative colitis is characterized by inflammation specifically of the large intestine or colon only. The lining of the colon becomes red and swollen, sometimes ulcerated. This causes diarrhea and bleeding from the rectum. Weight loss and fatigue are also frequent. Surgery to treat UC is usually curative.
The exact cause for IBD is not known and finding treatments that maintain long-term remission can be challenging. However, in the last several years, researchers around the world, including those at Washington University, have made remarkable strides in our understanding of these diseases. Current evidence suggests that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development of IBD. The inflammation of the GI tract is thought to be a reaction to bacteria that reside in the gut lumen. Pioneering therapies, some available only at Washington University, as well as large multi-center national studies, are greatly expanding the possible medical options for IBD patients.
Besides providing unique therapies for IBD, the GI division at Washington University conducts large on-going genetic study on IBD. Genetic testing is performed on the majority of IBD patients with the goal of optimizing patient care and predicting the course of the disease. Other research focuses on epidemiology and the link between IBD and cancer. For more information on available studies for which a patient might qualify, contact the research coordinator at 314-362-9093.
For More Information About the Washington University IBD Program, please see our welcome letter.
The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) website has links to more information about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
A national organization is dedicated to patients with these conditions and provides extensive patient resources. Visit the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation website