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Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Pediatric IBD Diagnosis & Treatment

When diagnosing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the expert team at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s first conducts a thorough physical exam and discuss the patient’s health history.

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To schedule an appointment with a UH Rainbow pediatric IBD specialist, call 216-844-1765 and speak with Colleen Fearon, RN.

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Learn more about our Pediatric IBD Second Opinion Clinic

Next, we conduct a series of tests, often including:

  • Blood tests
  • Stool samples
  • Upper GI endoscopy – using a scope to view esophagus, stomach and small intestine
  • Colonoscopy – using a scope to view colon (large intestine)
  • Imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans

These tests allow us to more accurately diagnose and assess disease location and severity.

Advanced Therapies and Treatments

Because we are part of a large teaching academic medical center, we have access to innovative treatments including biologics and nutrition therapy, as well as traditional anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroids, advanced immunomodulators (immune suppressants) and antibiotics.

Infusion Therapy

UH Rainbow offers infusion therapy at our state-of-the-art pediatric infusion centers. With infusion therapy, IBD medications are delivered intravenously through a needle. Patients also have access to convenient home infusion services as an alternative to treatment at our facilities.

Biologic Therapy

Biologics are medications that directly target a specific part of the immune system to help the patient heal. Biologic therapies can greatly improve your child's quality of life and help them avoid surgery.

Diet and Nutrition Therapy

Diet and nutrition play an important role in managing IBD symptoms. Studies have shown that nutritional therapies, such as exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN), is as effective as steroids in controlling inflammation and bringing about remission.

Our pediatric dietitian will work with families to adjust the child's diet or put them on special diets if necessary. When on EEN, children drink shakes for most, if not all, of their meals. Sometimes they can supplement with small amounts of solid food for eight to 12 weeks. This enables us to combat inflammation while addressing nutritional deficiencies commonly present when IBD is first diagnosed and avoid steroid side effects.

Diet changes and nutrition therapy can be used alone or in conjunction with medication or other treatments.

Educating Children and Families on IBD Self-Management

Treating patients at the UH Rainbow Pediatric IBD Center is important. However, the ability of children and their families to manage IBD every day at home is just as important.

We work with children and their families to teach the necessary skills to manage their disease. This includes education on nutrition, medication and making lifestyle choices for living a healthy, high-quality life with IBD.

Additionally, we work with our older pediatric patients to help them transition smoothly to adult care. This involves teaching them how to care for and manage their condition independently, as well as collaborating with the adult GI team at UH to allow for seamless transition of care.

IBD Second Opinion

An IBD diagnosis can be challenging for families, and we want to make sure you have as much information about your child's diagnosis and treatment plan as possible. Our Second Opinion Pediatric IBD Clinic will review your child's medical history, test results, medications and other relevant information. We will then provide a comprehensive assessment and recommendations for moving forward with a care plan.

Learn more about our Pediatric IBD Second Opinion Clinic

Your child’s health is important. Don’t delay care.

To schedule an appointment with a UH Rainbow pediatric IBD specialist, call 216-844-1765 and speak with Colleen Fearon, RN.