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Inflammatory Bowel Arthritis


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term used to describe a group of disorders which affect the digestive tract. The condition is caused by the body’s own immune system attacking itself, causing inflammation, intestinal damage, and abdominal pain. Though there are many symptoms for IBD, arthritis is one of the most common symptoms experienced outside of the intestines.

At her practice in Beverly Hills, rheumatologist Dr. Susan Baker can identify, diagnose, and treat patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Baker, please call (310) 274-7770 or fill out the online contact form today.

Types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease is a rheumatology condition that can be divided into two separate forms: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. While ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon and large intestine, Crohn’s disease can occur at any part of the digestive tract.

Regardless of which specific form of IBD a patient suffers from, the cause of the disease is the same: the body’s own tissue being targeted by the body immune response. After some time, patients can begin suffering from diarrhea and other digestive issues if no treatment is provided.

Arthritis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

One of the major and most common symptoms of IBD is arthritis, especially in patients with Crohn’s disease. In the majority of cases (between 60 and 70%), most of the arthritis seen in IBD patients affects the larger joints of the body, such as the following:

  • Knees
  • Ankles
  • Wrists
  • Elbows

However, unlike rheumatoid arthritis, which erodes and permanently damages joints, arthritis from IBD has no long-term negative effects on the body. Instead of having their joints worn down, patients suffering from IBD arthritis will have swollen, inflamed, and painful joints. During periods of little to no inflammation, a patient’s joint will still remain in working order, and will have suffered no permanent damage from the symptoms of IBD.

Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Arthritis

Management of IBD is very helpful when treating arthritis associated with the disease. Since treatment for arthritis is tied to the treatment of IBD, treatment options for inflammatory bowel arthritis often overlap with treatment for IBD itself. By reducing the inflammation that triggers a patient’s signs and symptoms, a patient’s arthritis will also be eliminated.

Treatment for IBD depends on a patient’s form of IBD (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease). Typically, however, treatment takes the following forms:
Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Various medications and drugs can help reduce the symptoms and severity of a patient’s IBD, but they can also result in numerous side effects and complications. Short-term medications include corticosteroids.
Immune System Suppressors
Instead of treating the inflammation itself (as is the case with anti-inflammatory medications), immune system suppressors target a patient’s immune system. These types of treatment suppress the immune system’s response, thereby reducing inflammation in the process.

Please call (310) 274-7770 to learn more about the different forms of immune system suppressors used by Dr. Baker at her Beverly Hills office.

To learn more about inflammatory bowel arthritis, visit

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I thought I was suffering from IBD, but now my symptoms have stopped and I haven’t received any treatment. Has my IBD gone away?

A: IBD has periods of flare-ups and cool-downs. If your IBD symptoms have recently stopped or have become less severe, it’s most likely that your IBD is in a waning period and will become active again in the future. To help prevent this, call Dr. Baker at (310) 274-7770 to schedule a consultation.

Q: Besides arthritis, what are some other complications created by IBD?

A: Inflammatory bowel disease can cause a variety of symptoms throughout the entire intestinal tract. Some of the more common complications include :

  • Bowel obstruction
  • Ulcers
  • Fistulas
  • Anal fissures
  • Malnutrition
  • Diarrhea

Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Baker Today!

If you’re suffering from arthritis caused by IBD, please schedule a consultation with Beverly Hills rheumatologist Dr. Baker today. With proper diagnosis and treatment, Dr. Baker can provide patients with a life free of the pain associated with inflammatory bowel arthritis. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Baker, please contact her online or call (310) 274-7770 today.

Next, learn about juvenile spondyloarthritis.