KidsMD Health Topics

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • It can be very scary if your child is having recurring bouts of abdominal pain, cramping, blood in the stools and diarrhea that don’t seem to go away. These symptoms may indicate a condition called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), in which parts of the intestinal tract become inflamed. The good news is that once diagnosed, most children with IBD respond quite well to treatment.

    The two main forms of IBD are Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Around one out of 10 children have what’s called “indeterminate colitis,” which means that the doctor can’t definitively state whether the IBD is Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Over time, many of these cases are eventually diagnosed as one or the other.

    • IBD may be mild, severe or anywhere in between.

    • It’s quite common: IBD affects around 1.4 million Americans, including around 80,000–100,000 children and young adults.

    • While many people confuse IBD with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), they’re very different conditions.

    • IBD is most often treated with medications and sometimes surgery.

    • While a cure has not yet been found, with regular medications and visits to the doctor, the vast majority of children with IBD lead normal, happy lives.

    How Boston Children's Hospital approaches IBD

    Children and teenagers with inflammatory bowel disease have a wide variety of needs that may include management of medications; nutritional counseling; monitoring of growth and development; surgical care and psychological support. Here at Boston Children’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, we’re dedicated to the health and well-being of children with IBD. We care for patients in Boston and in several satellite locations

    As a leading referral center for pediatric IBD, our Center is committed to discovering the causes of, and improving the treatments for, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

    Boston Children's Locations





    Boston Children's Hospital
    300 Longwood Avenue
    Boston, MA 02115

    617-730-0494 (fax)


    Boston Children's at Lexington
    482 Bedford Street

    617-355-6058 or


    Boston Children's at Waltham
    9 Hope Avenue

    617-355-6058 or

    Boston Children's Physician Office Locations





    Boston Children's Physicians Norwood
    Draper Bldg., 800 Washington Street

    617-355-6058 or


    Boston Children’s Physicians Weymouth
    The Stetson Building
    541 Main Street

    617-355-6058 or

    Additional Locations

    Boston Children's Inflammatory Bowel Disease is centrally located at Boston Children's Hospital main campus, but many of our physicians see patients throughout Massachusetts.

    Currently Boston Children's IBD specialists also see patients in Lexington, Norwood, Waltham and Weymouth

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Contact the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center

  • 1-617-355-6058
  • International: +01-617-355-5209
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