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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) (cont.)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Follow-up

Persons with inflammatory bowel disease are prone to the development of malignancy (cancer). In Crohn's disease, there is a higher rate of small intestinal malignancy. Persons with involvement of the whole colon, particularly ulcerative colitis, are at a higher risk of developing colonic malignancy after 8 to 10 years of the onset of the disease. For cancer prevention, surveillance colonoscopy every 1 to 2 years after 8 years of disease is recommended.

Use of corticosteroids may lead to debilitating illness, particularly after long-term use. You should consider trying more aggressive therapies rather than remaining on corticosteroids because of the potential for side effects with these drugs.

Patients taking steroids should undergo a yearly ophthalmologic examination because of the risk of development of cataracts.

Persons with IBD have a reduction in bone density, either from decreased calcium absorption (because of the underlying disease process) or because of corticosteroid use. Crippling osteoporosis can be a very serious complication. If you have significantly low bone density, you will be administered bisphosphonates and calcium supplements.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/3/2014

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