Michael Stephens, M.D., a pediatric gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic specializing in the care and evaluation of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), discusses a recent study published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine that found a dramatic increase in the number of hospitalizations for children with IBD during the past decade in the United States.
For physicians taking care of children with IBD, Dr. Stephens recommends:
- Doctors who see children with GI symptoms need to be mindful that these diseases are becoming more and more common and make sure to look for these diseases.
- Doctors in the hospital taking care of these children also need to be mindful of this trend, as well as other co-morbidities like Clostridium difficile infection.
For patients and their families, Dr. Stephens recommends:
- It's important to have regular visits to the gastroenterologist to monitor your disease. If signs of a flare-up can be identified early, and physicians can intervene early, that flare may be easier to control.
- Make sure IBD medication is taken regularly and be proactive when symptoms of a flare-up begin.