Dr. Mutlu discusses how Crohn's disease is treated.
There are many types of treatments available for Crohn’s disease. Typically, these treatments involve decreasing the response of the immune system, and they are what we would call immunosuppressive medications. Usually these immunosuppressive medications have a benefit in reducing the symptoms in trying to keep the patient in remission.
However, they are not perfect. Most of these medications are far from being acceptable, sometimes in terms of their risks to our patients, and additionally, some of these medications are not very effective.
Unfortunately, we have not had any treatments that specifically target the intestinal lumen or intestinal barrier which are two other problems in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Those aspects of the pathogenesis of the disease have not been addressed well with medications. So, unfortunately, all of our medications are currently in the immunosuppressive category.
About Dr. Mutlu, M.D.:
Dr. Ece A. Mutlu, M.D., is Associate Professor of Medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. She specializes in gastroenterology and nutrition, and her research interests include diet therapy in inflammatory bowel disease, role of microbiological flora on gastrointestinal illness, role of nutrition in gastrointestinal disease, complementary and alternative medicine for gastrointestinal disease, and antioxidant treatment of radiation proctitis.