IBD Page

News and tools related to Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Updated 12 December 2013

The site lurches back to life! See a little blurb about Vancomycin in C. Diff colitis.


I do get irritated by some things I see happening to IBD patients. There is an infectious condition called Clostridium difficile colitis which can be treated with antibiotics. One antibiotic, vancomycin, is very expensive when used in the capslue formulation, but inexpensive when supplied as a solution. I wrtie about this in a short article, a Lower Cost Option for Prescribing Oral Vancomycin.

Well, I have to say, this is amusing. I started to put google ads up on the page. I figured a few ads to direct folks to places of interest seemed a fine idea. I have basically dug out of all the startup things a new practice needs to do and it is time to come back to the IBDPage, one of the most professionally rewarding things I have done. The ads so far are for non-traditional treatment. The first ads up there were for aloe based compounds and the like. Looks like debunking the alternative medical ads will provide a long list of potential articles for the IBDPage! I hope nothing pops up similar to the Steely Dan like ads that populate the internet (and I'm referring to the book by Burroughs, not the band).

I have a practice in Naperville, Illinois, and in Bolingbrook, IL.  I am taking appointments. The locations are excellent, just two minutes from Naperville Surgical Centre and a few minutes from Central Dupage, and Bolingbrook hospitals.  My CV now has the updated address. The IBD page now resides as a subfolder at NapervilleGI.com.  I look forward to seeing patients from Chicago and surrounding suburbs with Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis.   Naperville is a western suburb of Chicago, convenient to all parts of Chicago and surrounding suburbs, and even convenient to central Illinois, with I55 being nearby.  See the map at the main page, www.napervillegi.com

Look at my Curriculum Vitae

I have been at the Digestive Disease week almost every year for over two decades. Look below to find information from older meetings. I am trying to put together more information that is current as I resurrect the venerable IBDPage!

Many patients with Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis are now treated with azathioprine.  There is some question as to whether it is needed long term. See the first report that triedto get patients off long term azathioprine.

Probiotic is a term that refers to good bacteria that are given to fight disease. Whatever the merits of the term probiotic, we finally have a study that was well done. The study publishedin the journal Gastroenterology was very clear: in a group of patients with the problem of pouchitis there was clear benefit.

A trial of heparin in ulcerative colitis has been completed.  Read about the results .  (I am proud to have participated in that trial.)  I previously wrote about findings at previous DDW meetings. Here is an overview and several abstracts about heparin in IBD that provide background information:  Heparin in UC or Crohn's?

The nature of Crohn's and Colitis is not known.  I think this is one cause of patients using nonprescription drugs, often misnamed nutritional supplements.  A reader of the IBDList asked my opinion of Salmon Oil after reading the article on this page regarding Purepa.  My reply was really a discussionof these unregulated drugs, Concerns Regarding the Use of Nonprescription Drugs in Crohn's and UC.

There is a new antinflammatory drug out on the market named Celebrex.  It has less side effects on the GI tract than typical arthritis drugs. Is it possible that it is safe in Crohn's or Ulcerative Colitis?  Well,no.  See why in this article.

Patients will often improve. Yes, really, it does happen! It is interesting that getting better can be a type of loss. The patient improves, then loses their routine, and the physician loses a patient with which he was having regular followup. I relate an episode of arecent loss such as this.

There were some papers in the past that found that sucrose restriction can prevent recurrences of Crohn's.


The IBDList is a great maillist.  I often get ideas for articles from questions that pop up there, and I generally post there anything that goes onto this web site.  It is a great support group aswell.  I am pleased to host an archive of past posts accessible by ftpto this site as well.  The IBDList is run by Thomas Lapp, list manager andall around great guy.  I highly recommend anyone with an interest in IBDsign up for a  subscription to the IBDList.   (This link takes you to Tom's web page).

I had a very short piece on the uselessness of sublingual vitamin B12 . Well, more info is available, so now there is a modified opinion.

Habla usted Espanol? Tenga la enfermedad de Crohn? Es mi Espanol horrible? Dos preguntas verdad por usted? Un site en Espanol por medicos - Grupo Espanol do Trabajo en Enfermedad de Crohn y Colitis Ulcerosa esta alli.

Mycobacteria getting you (and everyone else with Crohn's) down? - Therole of Mycobacteria paratuberculosis in Crohn's disease has been of interestfor many years. This pathogen in cattle causes Jonnes disease, an early model of Crohn's disease. The role of M. paratuberculosis was not supported after years of research because it could not be isolated from humans with Crohn's. Recently, however, very sensitive techniques of detection of bacterialDNA (the PCR technique) has started to show some positive results. A reader, Alan Kennedy, has put together an interesting site that is worth visiting . My concern about the site is that it is written from the viewpointof an advocate of the mycobacteria hypothesis. My reading of the literature is that 10 to 20% of patients will be found to have M. paratuberculosis relevant to their disease in some way. I think the current challenge is to figure out who those patients are, and to define what is the best therapy for them. Anyway, Alan has put a lot of work in the site and it summarizes a lot of data on why M. paratuberculosis should be studied. So, go visit his site.

The IBDetails, a limited run newsletter, is defunct. Son of IBDetailsis known as Scope. This newsletter is written as a series of essays, so itis a nice complement to the IBDPage (see above). New views are good. See the Scope.

The Outreach newsletter continues to provide helpful and informative information for people with IBD. The second issue is now available on this site for people to download at their convenience. The file is an adobeacrobat format (PDF format) file. The files are over 500k, so will takea time to download. All the issues of Outreach - Coping with I.B.D. can be found in the same directory.

Many will enjoy eating turkey on Christmas. (Perhaps some on Hanukah - is turkey Kosher?) Some tips from the CDC on cooking can be found in this chilling report on a family that had a bacterial infection from Thanksgiving dinner .

Do you feel like a burden to your physician? Other patients do too. My feeling on the matter .

Many women with Crohn's are on azathioprine, an immunosuppressant. What should you do if you want to get pregnant while on azathioprine ?

Ever wonder if your doc gets frustrated over not being able to cure incurable disease. Do you worry that you are only darkening the door of your physician, sorry to trouble them over something they cannot cure anyway? A reader asked, and I answered .

Do you have a J-pounch, or is it an issue for your future? If so thisnew site, The J-Pouch Group , should be of interest to you.

Often patients are on steroids for some time. What is the protocol for stopping steroids? Click here to find out.

Some time ago, researchers at Stanford University put together a survey that looks at quality of life in Ulcerative Colitis. They never sent memy mug for supporting their site, so I pulled the link. So there!  Actually, while I may be petty, the study has concluded, and the link was dead.

What is the "cure" for Crohn's that has been reported in the news? There have been reports of an antibody that can treat Crohn's disease. While not a cure, it may represent a new treatment that will more rapidly bring flares of Crohn's under control.

Heard about fish oil? This ill defined substance has gotten play in the popular health literature, but now there has been a study in Crohn's disease published in the New England Journal of Medicine . The study showed that the preparation, Purepa, is effective. It should be available in a few years in the US.

Job lock is but one consequence of the current insurance system for people with chronic disease, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Alaw was passed by congress a few years ago. Here is an interview with senators Kennedy and Kassebaum regarding this law that was aired on PBS in the past.

Download old issues of the IBDList.    The IBDList is a mailing list maintained byThomas Lapp. It is an excellent resource for support and information aboutIBD. Your's truly also contributes regularly.

The CCFA. The CCFA is the major private foundation that supports research andpatient support for patients with Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis. The CCFApage seeks to be authoritative. Most advice here is accepted as generallyprobably true.The site is well maintained and chages from time to time.By the way, join the CCFA. I did.

IBD home page .
This well maintained site has a number of features of interest to those with Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis. It is a definate must visit site for the IBDer.  It is also known as the QurlyJoe site, so should be visitedjust of the basis of a unique name.  It is one of the best regarded siteson the Web.  Here one can find support groups and FAQs of interest, andmuch more.  Please, go visit.

University of Calgary GI Division .
Not IBD per se, but a nice site. They have an archive of endoscopic pictures , some of which show findings in Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis. They also have a weekly quiz of great cases.

Pathology Library of Images
The University of Utah has put up a remarkable resource. General Path including IBD pathology is available there.

The page was getting long, so I have archived the articles in anotherpage. The IBD page archive will be the place to find old articles, or articles you have not seen previously if you are new to this page.

The following are the member organizations of Digestive Disease Week.  Hopefully they will get their abstracts on line some time in the future. The member organizations of DDW are:
American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD)
American Gastroenterological Association (AGA)
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE)
The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (SSAT)

Stephen Holland, M.D. is a Gastroenterologist in private practice in Naperville, Illinois. He was on the faculty of the University ofIllinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign as well as the Peoria campus. Research interests includedusing new therapies for IBD and new methods to classify disease type inpatients with IBD.  He is no longer at Christie Clinic, and has starteda practice in Naperville, Illinois, which is just outside of Chicago.  Hehopes to continue to update the IBDpage and will be involved in clinicaltrials in IBD and other digestive diseases.

Dr. Holland maintains this WWW site. Please address all lavish praise to him. Other mail should be directed to the sender. If you need to contact him directly you can use eMail . Reporting of dead links will also be appreciated.  Dr. Holland regrets that he is not able to return long distance phone calls.


MacOS rules !

This site is hosted by Apple computer via the .mac service available for a fee to Apple customers. While many of the users here have personal web sites up, I am pleased that the interface allowed placing the original IBDPage here. The system is very easy to use. I open up a volume that simply appears on my desktop looking like a local disk. I can save to it from any program and all the usual desktop behaviors are supported. If you have a networked Mac the iDisk is a very nice feature of being an Apple customer.

I think Macs are really easy to use.  It takes so little time to upgrade, the system is very stable, and the computers have amazing longevity since the software is so able to run older programs and the hardware usuallydoes not need to be upgraded when the OS is upgraded.  I always recommenda Mac to anyone who is thinking of buying a new computer, or is thinkingof upgrading their PeeCee.

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Apple Computer

Yes, I like Apple stuff. They do have the fastest desktop computers made, and the new G4 and G5 architecture is similar to the RISC based supercomputer that I worked on at Vogelback Computing Center at Northwestern University when I was an undergraduate there.  But the absolutely neat thing is the longevity of the platform.  Not just that it works, but when you upgradethere is so little hassle.  I used to use Intel based machines at work, onthe PeeCee NonStandard, so I have a basis for comparison.  Apple does notpay me for this testimonial. The stuff just works.