Vanderbilt Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center

If you have an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis, life can be uncomfortable and uncertain. In severe cases, IBD can require immediate surgery or other medical intervention. Proper treatment can help you manage IBD and live comfortably again.

The Vanderbilt Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center offers comprehensive services for patients and doctors seeking to better understand and treat IBD. Our diverse team of IBD specialists works together to care for your whole health, including medical options and dietary and emotional counseling.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Expert Care

Through our patient care and research, the IBD Center is improving life for those with IBD. We offer a full spectrum of care:

  • Diagnosis, testing and treatment at a dedicated clinic
  • Dietary counseling
  • In-program specialty pharmacy
  • Pediatric care and a pediatric-adult transition program
  • Psychological services
  • Research experience in new medications and treatments, including options for IBD clinical trials
  • Support for smoking cessation
  • Complementary therapies through the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine

We have the expertise and team approach to help you identify the most effective IBD treatment.

Crohns Disease Symptoms and Treatment

Crohns disease is inflammation anywhere in the digestive tract. The exact location can vary widely, as can the symptoms. Complications from Crohns disease can range from persistent bowel and abdominal discomfort to a severe problem requiring immediate treatment, such as a fistula, abscess or perforated bowel.

The cause of Crohns disease is unknown. Your family history may increase your chance of having it. While diet can make inflammation worse, it is not a cause of Crohns disease.

With proper care, Crohns disease can lapse into remission for many years, or produce only mild symptoms. At the IBD Center, our specialists will identify what is contributing to your symptoms and help you establish a treatment plan that may include:

  • Medicines to relieve inflammation
  • Medicines for other symptoms
  • Surgery
  • Smoking cessation and other lifestyle changes
  • Dietary changes

Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms and Treatment

Ulcerative colitis is chronic inflammation occurring mainly in the large intestine (colon). Those with ulcerative colitis often experience frequent bowel and abdominal discomfort and diarrhea. At times, ulcerative colitis leads to more severe complications requiring immediate treatment, such as rectal bleeding, a perforated bowel or severe colon inflammation (toxic megacolon).

The cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown. It is different from irritable bowel syndrome or colitis (colon inflammation) caused by a temporary infection. While diet can make inflammation worse, it is not a cause of ulcerative colitis.

Ulcerative colitis can be controlled and your episodes of inflammation can be reduced. Our specialists at the IBD Center will identify what is contributing to your ulcerative colitis and help you establish a treatment plan that may include:

  • Medicines to relieve inflammation
  • Medicines for other symptoms
  • Surgery
  • Dietary and other lifestyle changes

IBD Clinical Trials

If you have IBD, our clinical trials may be an option to access innovative treatments.

Physicians and researchers can find information on our IBD clinical trials here.

The Crohns & Colitis Foundation of America provides information on clinical trials available nationally.

Our IBD Center Team

One of the benefits of the IBD Center is our comprehensive approach to treatment. The IBD Center team includes specialists in internal medicine, colorectal surgery, diet, pharmacy and psychology working together to support our IBD patients. Our researchers are advancing the field of IBD medicine through new studies and clinical trials.