Inflammatory Bowel Disease Specialist

Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C.

Gastroenterology & Hepatology located in Centreville, VA & Sterling, VA

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic digestive condition that requires ongoing medical care and management. At nationally recognized Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C., with offices in Centreville, Sterling, and Chantilly, Virginia, the team of expert gastroenterologists, including Lance Lasner, MD, and Nisha Chand, MD, provide the highest standard of medical care for patients with IBD. For expert IBD care, call the office nearest you, or schedule an appointment online today.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Q&A

What is inflammatory bowel disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to digestive conditions that cause ongoing inflammation along the gastrointestinal tract. 

There are two types of IBD:

Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease causes inflammation, swelling, and ulceration in the deep layers of your digestive tract. This inflammation may occur anywhere from the mouth to the anus, but it most often affects the small intestine and the upper part of the large intestine.

Ulcerative colitis (UC)

UC causes inflammation and swelling on the inside lining of your large intestine. The inflammation most often starts in the rectum and then spreads to the colon. 

Researchers are still investigating the underlying cause of IBD. However, they theorize that the inflammation occurs because of problems involving the immune system.

What are the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease?

IBD symptoms vary depending on type, location, and severity of the inflammation. Some of common IBD symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas and bloating
  • Blood or pus in stool
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain

Symptoms of IBD tend to come and go. You may go through periods of flare-ups, causing mild to severe symptoms, followed by periods of remission where you have only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.

IBD remission can last weeks, months, or years.

What happens during an inflammatory bowel disease evaluation?

Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C., takes a personalized approach to care and conducts a comprehensive evaluation when you come in with concerns about IBD.

The team asks detailed questions about your symptoms, medical history, and family history. They perform a physical exam and run diagnostic tests.

There’s no single test to diagnose IBD. To better understand the cause of your symptoms and formulate an accurate diagnosis, the team runs blood work and stool testing as well as endoscopy procedures such as a colonoscopy, upper endoscopy, or capsule endoscopy.

What are the treatments for inflammatory bowel disease?

Treatment for IBD depends on type and symptoms. Initially, the team at Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C., uses medications to control inflammation. The goal of treatment is to help you reach and stay in remission. 

Medical treatment for IBD might include:

  • Aminosalicylates to minimize intestinal inflammation
  • Biologics to interrupt the immune response that causes the inflammation
  • Corticosteroids
  • Immunomodulators to minimize the immune system reaction
  • Antidiarrheal medications
  • Nutritional supplements

When medical interventions fail to relieve your IBD symptoms, the team at Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C. may talk to you about surgery to resect the inflamed areas of your bowel. 

With the right treatment, you can experience long bouts of remission from your IBD. Call Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C., or schedule a consultation online today.