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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
Depending on the severity of symptoms, treating IBD disease often requires a combination of approaches, especially at first:
1. First diagnosed with IBD
Most of the time, children are having severe symptoms when they are first diagnosed. If your child feels unwell, the first thing we will do is get her symptoms under control as quickly as possible.
During this time, you and your child will meet with members of your child's IBD team, all of whom have expertise in working with children with IBD and their families. Besides your child's primary gastroenterologist, you may talk with:
2. Managing IBD
There are many different ways to manage IBD, and your clinician may use any number of the following courses:
3. Dealing with flare-ups of IBD
Flare-ups are when your child again begins to experience symptoms of IBD, or feeling especially tired and unwell. If your child is having a flare-up, we'll treat it with rescue medicines – a short course of strong medications. We'll also monitor her closely to determine what may have caused it and whether any changes should be made to her treatment plan.
What are common medications for inflammatory bowel disease?
This is a brief summary of some of the medications used for IBD. Please discuss specific medications – and your child's individual situation - with your doctor.
Antiulcer/H2 blockers, including:
What if surgery is recommended to treat my child’s IBD?
While we almost always start treatment for IBD with medication, sometimes a child may not respond (or stop responding) to medications, and be a good candidate for surgery. The decision to have surgery is a joint one, made between your child, your family, your child's gastroenterologist and the surgeon.
Learn more about specific surgeries for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
What are follow-up treatments like for my child with inflammatory bowel disease?
Lifelong follow-up is crucial with IBD, since it allows your child's doctors to:
How often will my child with inflammatory bowel disease need follow-up appointments?
This depends on your child, her treatment plan and how she is feeling. If your child is doing very well, and experiencing few to no symptoms, your child's doctor may want to see her every six months. If your child is on immunosuppressant medications, there's a higher risk of complications, and we'd like to see her every three months. If your child is not feeling well, she will come in every four weeks or so.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”