A pair of chronic conditions, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, are known collectively as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). If you have moderate to severe IBD, the expert gastroenterologists at Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, which has 13 locations in North Carolina, offer infusion therapy containing biologics — drugs that target the cells creating inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract. To find out more about infusion therapy for IBD, contact your local office in Charlotte, Belmont, Concord, Davidson, Matthews, Monroe, Huntersville, University, or Pineville. Call or book online today.
Infusion therapy involves taking your medications intravenously (directly into your veins). Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, uses biologics to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Biologics are genetically engineered proteins that originated from human genes. These proteins target sources of inflammation in your body. Biologics successfully treat inflammation caused by autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis and IBD.
Infusion therapy for IBD is a straightforward process. You simply sit back and relax while the fluid containing your medication drips steadily into your bloodstream.
Apart from a slight scratch as the needle goes in, you shouldn’t experience any discomfort. You don’t need any sedative, anesthetic, or downtime with infusion therapy for IBD.
IBD is a term for autoimmune disorders of the digestive system — primarily Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These conditions develop when something causes your immune system to attack cells in the tissues within your gastrointestinal tract.
With ulcerative colitis, the damage occurs in the colon and rectum. Crohn’s disease can cause problems anywhere in your digestive system. In both cases, inflammation is the chief problem.
The inflammation causes soreness and ulceration in the soft tissues and leads to symptoms such as:
You might also develop a fever, skin problems, and other symptoms. Patients with Crohn’s disease are vulnerable to fissures and fistulas — cracks and unnatural holes in the delicate lower GI tissues.
Infusion therapy is an option for patients with moderate or, most often, severe IBD. People with mild to moderate IBD typically manage their symptoms well with oral medications, or suppositories containing anti-inflammatory drugs like mesalazine. Some may require steroids, which are potent anti-inflammatories.
Patients with more severe or unresponsive IBD might fail to find relief from their symptoms with these treatments. If you’re one of them, biologics are the next option.
Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, uses several types of biologics for their IBD infusion therapy:
When you’ve got IBD, you have excessive levels of TNF-alpha protein, which regulates inflammation and immune cell activity. REMICADE blocks the TNF-alpha protein. AVSOLA® has the same active ingredient (infliximab) as REMICADE.
Aside from TNF-alpha, other proteins also trigger inflammation in your body. STELARA contains ustekinumab, which works on two of them — interleukin 12 (IL-12) and interleukin 23 (IL-23). These proteins are often present at high levels in people with IBD.
ENTYVIO contains vedolizumab, which lowers the number of white blood cells in your gut. The white blood cells trigger inflammation, so limiting their reproduction reduces the inflammation in your gastrointestinal system.
To find out if you could benefit from infusion therapy for IBD, call Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, today, or book an appointment online.