About 15 percent of people who have inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis also have enteropathic arthritis, which is linked with gastrointestinal inflammation, says Themistocles Dassopoulos, MD, medical director of the Baylor Scott & White Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases at Baylor University Medical Center.
There are two major types of enteropathic arthritis:
Peripheral arthritis generally affects large peripheral joints, such as elbows, shoulders, knees and ankles. Unlike osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, this arthritis doesn’t lead to joint deformities, but it can cause severe joint pain, swelling and redness.
Central arthritis affects the spine and the sacroiliac joints—between the base of the spine and the pelvis—and can lead to spinal fusion.
Because non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as aspirin and ibuprofen) can worsen the bowel inflammation, acetaminophen is a better choice for joint pain relief.
Several new medications can treat both the bowel disease and the associated arthritis, says Steve Appleton, MD, an orthopedic joint surgeon on the medical staff at Baylor University Medical Center.
Along with arthritis, the inflammatory bowel diseases are linked with autoimmune conditions of organs such as the eyes, liver and skin.
How We can Help
One of the primary goals in managing inflammatory bowel disease is to minimize progressive bowel damage from inflammation. Treatment options, including medications and surgery, will depend on the symptoms, prognosis and severity of the disease.
We offer patients:
- Highly trained specialists from gastroenterologists, pathologists, dietitians, radiologists and surgeons on the medical staff
- Pathologists on our medical staff are specially skilled at diagnosing Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and closely monitoring cancerous changes
- Access to advanced clinical trials
Baylor University Medical Center is ranked No. 29 nationally in 2016 for Gastroenterology & GI Surgery by US News & World Reports
Effective IBD Care: Out of Adolescence into Adulthood
The Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center at Baylor Dallas focuses exclusively on the treatment of adult patients with IBD and those patients transitioning from pediatric to adult care. The conversion into adult care represents a critical process for children suffering from IBD. The IBD Center at Baylor Dallas works with young patients, their families and pediatric GI specialists to create a smooth change into the adult care setting.
The Center works to help young adults become savvy decision makers when it comes to managing IBD in adulthood with the goal of long-term remission and normal quality of life.
Time for the Change?
Ideally, the transition from pediatric to adult care occurs when the patient is healthy and the disease is in remission. Young patients who are ready to transition to adult care typically:
- Exhibit maturity and responsibility in decision-making
- Are more self-reliant/less dependent on parents when it comes to health decisions and taking medications
- Are confident when speaking to medical professionals
- Know or ask questions about their IBD history, so they can share it with future providers
Make a Successful Switch
The physicians and staff of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Baylor Dallas have helped many patients move from pediatric to adult IBD care. For a referral to a gastroenterologist on the medical staff specializing in IBD, call 1.844.BSW.DOCS (1.844.279.3627) or search our
online physician directory.