February Physician Focus: Crohn’s and Colitis

Medicine in the 21st century constantly seeks answers, yet precise explanations can still be elusive. Such is the case with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, part of a group of chronic digestive disorders known as inflammatory bowel diseases.

For patients, Crohn’s and colitis can be frustrating. Their causes are unknown, they have no known risk factors (although they tend to occur in families), no preventive measures can be taken to avoid them, and because their symptoms are non-specific to the diseases, most cases are diagnosed months or years after symptoms first appear. Their effects on daily living, social and professional activities, can also be discouraging.

The February episode of Physician Focus provides a basic introduction to these digestive diseases. Both conditions afflict a total of nearly 1.4 million Americans, with men and women in equal numbers.

The special guest for this program is Andrew Warner, M.D., Chief of Gastroenterology at Lahey Health in Burlington and co-author of 100 Questions & Answers About Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Hosting this edition is Lynda Young, M.D., Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Children’s Medical Center at UMass Memorial Healthcare in Worcester and a past president of the Massachusetts Medical Society.

The conversation between the physicians covers details about the symptoms of the diseases; their similarities and differences; how they affect a patient’s health and quality of life; how the conditions are diagnosed; and how the diseases are treated, including dietary plans, medicines like steroids and biologics, and surgery.

Physician Focus is available for viewing on public access television stations throughout Massachusetts. It is also available online at www.massmed.org/physicianfocus, www.physicianfocus.org, and www.massmed.org/itunes.

Comments are closed.