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, 15 (9), 1399-409

General Health Maintenance in IBD


General Health Maintenance in IBD

Maria Moscandrew et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis.


Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) often rely on their gastroenterologist for healthcare maintenance. In addition, the gastroenterologist also provides guidance to the patient's primary care physician on a broad range of issues such as vaccinations, osteoporosis screening, and cancer/dysplasia surveillance. Appropriate vaccinations should be administered to patients with IBD, particularly those likely to receive immunosuppression. Live virus vaccines are not appropriate for patients on immunosuppressive therapy, and therefore should be anticipated and given prior to initiating immunosuppression. Screening for osteoporosis is based on a combination of individual risk factors, but a history of prolonged (>3 months) steroid use over 10 mg is reason enough to obtain dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scanning. Smoking cessation also falls within the realm of the gastroenterologist, as current smoking has a negative impact on Crohn's disease and cessation can be related to exacerbation in ulcerative colitis. Cancer screening includes not only colorectal cancer, but discussion regarding cervical dysplasia, skin cancer, and prostate cancer. Other primary care issues include hypertension and cholesterol monitoring, depression, and ocular health. A comprehensive understanding of all of the issues that can affect a patient with IBD throughout their life cycle is important, as it can impact their natural history, medication decisions, and overall outcomes.

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