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Johns Hopkins Health - IBD: Not Just for Adults

Spring 2009
Issue No. 4

IBD: Not Just for Adults

Date: April 24, 2009

Not Just for Adults

Young girl with orange

Even among experienced physicians, inflammatory bowel disease—or IBD—is thought of as an adult condition. But Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the most common types of IBD, affect about 140,000 children annually.

“A lot of those cases go undiagnosed for years,” says Maria Oliva-Hemker, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center Pediatric IBD Center. As with adults, children’s initial symptoms—persistent diarrhea, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding and weight loss—can recur each time the disease flares.

Because there are no cures for IBD, medical management is the first course of treatment. Johns Hopkins leads the way into looking at newer drugs that are more targeted with fewer side effects. That’s good news for kids with IBD.

“Our goal is to put pediatric IBD into remission for as long as possible,” Oliva-Hemker says.

Learn more about IBD and other GI conditions in children, including important clinical trials: Visit or call 877-546-1872.