Patient Portal

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

For appointments, call 314-747-IBD6 (4236)

Washington University inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) specialists provide clinical care for chronic inflammation of the intestinal tract. Our goal is to improve quality-of-life for IBD patients through exceptional care and transformative research. Our comprehensive IBD center provides world-class medical and surgical services and access to novel therapies in clinical research trials.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affects men and women almost equally. It can occur at any age, but most often affects young adults ( ages 16-26). Washington University IBD specialists care for more than 3,000 patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. The two most common forms of IBD are:

Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It commonly affects the small intestines and colon, but may occur anywhere in the GI tract. Symptoms depend on the location of the diseased bowel, but abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss are common. Sometimes diarrhea, fever, rectal bleeding or disease around the anal canal may occur.

Ulcerative colitis is characterized by inflammation of the large intestine or colon. The lining of the colon becomes red and swollen, sometimes ulcerated. This causes diarrhea and bleeding from the rectum. The inflammation is chronic, which means that it is always present, although the symptoms may come and go. Symptoms flare when the colon is severely inflamed. Weight loss and fatigue are also common. We also treat patients with:

  • Eosinophilic gastroenteritis
  • Collagenous colitis
  • Lymphocytic colitis
  • Microscopic colitis
  • Autoimmune enteropathy
  • Infectious colitis
  • Celiac disease
  • Short bowel syndrome
  • Women and IBD

Multidisciplinary Care

Because of the complexity of the disease, patients with IBD often require care from multiple providers. Patients in our program are able to seamlessly coordinate care and office visits between specialists. In addition to specialized gastroenterologists and GI surgeons, we also have a GI-trained health psychologist available for appointments. Other resources include abdominal imaging, endoscopy, consult services in pathology, nutrition and dermatology.

For more information, read our FAQs about IBD

Preparing for your Appointment

Before your office visit, your referring physician will need to mail or fax (314-747-5871) your records, including:

  • Progress notes
  • Colonoscopy and/or endoscopy reports
  • Pathology
  • Radiology reports
  • Any IBD-specific lab values (i.e. prometheus thiopurine metabolites, TPMT/IBD panels)

If you are self-referring, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires that you sign and send a medical record release (pdf) to your previous physician so we may obtain your medical records. After review of your records, additional imaging and/or laboratory testing may be ordered.

Before you come to the IBD Center, please print and complete the new patient questionnaire (pdf), and bring it to your appointment. If you are unable to bring the completed form with you, copies are available at the front desk prior to seeing the physician.

Adolescent to Adult Transition of Care

Our adult and pediatric gastroenterology teams offer a new program to help young patients move smoothly into an adult care plan based on a timeline tailored to their needs. The program includes close communication between pediatric and adult IBD physicians, extra appointment time, advice from IBD nurses, psychiatric services, smartphone apps to help with compliance and other resources. To consult with a IBD transition team member, call 314-747-IBD6 (4236) option 8.

Resources

Washington University Colorectal Surgery
St. Louis Children’s Hospital Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center

Community Resources
Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (CCF)
Stoma Association
Camp Oasis
Givin’ it All for Guts