Inflammatory bowel disease is two chronic diseases—ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. If it’s something a child struggles with, the dedicated team at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is there to help.
Dr. Deb Cloney, section chief of pediatric gastroenterology, discusses how they promote a child’s comfort and work towards symptom-free living with inflammatory bowel disease.
The disease causes both inflammation of the intestines, or any part of the digestive tract for Crohn's disease and the large intestine for ulcerative colitis. Symptoms of both can include diarrhea, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, anemia, weight loss, or poor growth.
Doctors aren't quite sure what exactly causes inflammatory bowel disease, but a child's environment, diet, and genetics can be a factor.
A child should be referred to a specialist when the primary care physician has determined that more advanced diagnostic or treatment tools are required. The complicated nature of inflammatory bowel disease deserves the expert care of a pediatric digestive specialist.
At Helen DeVos Children's hospital, they treat over 300 patients with the disease. In addition to a team of providers, support comes from specialized dietitians and social workers, as well as collaboration with radiology, sedation, and surgeons.
Also because Helen DeVos Children's Hospital has been a part of ImproveCareNow Network, which focuses on the treatment of IBD, they have been recognized for their prestige program with the 2016 Drucker Prize.
Helen DeVos Children's Hospital's Pediatric Gastroenterology is located at 35 Michigan Street Northeast, Suite 4150.
For more information on their program, call (616)-267-2100.