Diagnosis and management of inflammatory bowel disease

Nightingale A. Nurse Prescribing 2007;5:289–296.

Short summary

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)—comprising ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease—is a chronic condition that affects about 1 in 700 people in the UK. Symptoms are variable and are generally related to the site of disease and its severity. Since many conditions can mimic IBD, accurate diagnosis is essential to select the most appropriate and effective treatment.

Treatment strategies have evolved with the aim of improving mucosal healing and the patient’s quality of life. Selection of the best treatment option is largely based on diagnosis, the site and severity of disease, and discussions with the patient. Since the disease is complex, long-term management involves collaboration between gastroenterologists, nurse specialists, dieticians and surgeons.

Education is essential to ensure that patients understand the importance of taking regular medication. Patients with UC failing to take regular aminosalicylate therapy are five times more likely to relapse, often requiring hospitalisation to treat complications; treatment of these patients costs the National Health Service in the UK 20 times more than patients in remission.

Effective management of IBD requires a holistic approach. The disease affects the lives of patients and their families in many ways; support and education provided by IBD nurses and other members of the multidisciplinary team helps to improve concordance with therapy and the likelihood of achieving favourable outcomes.

Job number: JB57410GBv Date of Preparation: August 2019

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inflammatory bowel disease ibd crohn's disease chronic condition diagnosis and management of inflammatory bowel disease nightingale a. nurse prescribing 2007;5:289–296 gastroenterologists nurse specialists dieticians and surgeons.

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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patient information sheet (English)

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patient information sheet (English)

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