Intestinal Disorders

Intestinal Disorders

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Duke gastrointestinal experts diagnose and treat digestive disorders of the small and large intestine and help prevent the potential for future complications.

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Comprehensive Treatment for Intestinal Disorders

We offer the comprehensive diagnosis and appropriate treatment needed to help you understand the cause of -- and obtain relief from -- symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, gas, and abdominal cramping, which may accompany intestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). We also can help you manage the effects of newer therapies, which influence your body's immune system response. We'll work closely with you to help you make changes to your diet and lifestyle -- which is often the most effective treatment for disorders like celiac disease. If your condition is severe enough that you may be considered for a small bowel transplant, you may be referred to our transplant experts.

Our Locations
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

Treatments

Dietary Changes

A gluten-free diet is the only treatment to avoid the symptoms associated with celiac disease. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, increasing fiber intake may help.

Medication

Several drugs have proven effective in relieving uncomfortable symptoms, reducing the body’s immune response, and controlling inflammation. They range from over-the-counter remedies to advanced, complex therapies. Which medication you are prescribed will depend on the severity of your condition. The more complex therapies require medical expertise and regular monitoring to manage side effects. Medications may include:

  • Aminosalicylates: Decrease symptoms including fever, stomach pain, diarrhea and rectal bleeding
  • Steroids: Reduce inflammation
  • Antibiotics: Kill intestinal bacteria
  • Immunomodulators: Suppress the immune system
  • Biologics: Decrease inflammation by blocking the body’s ability to attack healthy tissue
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Tests

Blood, Urine, and Stool Tests

Determines the presence of antibodies, bacteria, parasites, and other indicators used to diagnose specific intestinal disorders.

Colonoscopy

A long flexible lighted tube with a camera at the tip, called a colonoscope, is inserted in the rectum to evaluate the large intestine (colon).

Video Capsule Endoscopy

A swallowed capsule camera (the size of a large pill) passes through your small intestines and captures images that are transmitted to a small computer worn on your belt. 

Barium Study

The lower part of the colon is coated with barium liquid, then drained and filled with air. The images that are created show whether inflammation is present on the intestinal wall. 

CT or MRI Scan

These scans capture images of the tissue and lining inside the intestines.

Among the Best Hospitals for GI in the U.S.
Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital is ranked among the best in the nation for gastroenterology and GI surgery by U.S. News & World Report for 2019–2020.

Why Choose Duke

Regional Referral Center
As a referral center for second and even third medical opinions, we are recognized for our expertise in diagnosing and treating the full range of intestinal disorders. If you are referred to us, we partner with your physician to ensure you receive the best care possible.

Gastrointestinal Screening and Imaging Experts
Our gastroenterologists are specialists in the digestive system and undergo advanced training in imaging techniques that detect abnormalities throughout the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. We screen a high volume of patients for intestinal abnormalities and have the expertise to identify concerns, including colon cancer, at the earliest possible stage.

Advanced Small Intestine Diagnostic Techniques
Abnormalities in the small intestine can be difficult to diagnose and manage because the area is difficult to access. Our specialists use advanced techniques to guide endoscopes deeply into the small intestine, beyond the reach of standard endoscopic procedures such as colonoscopy and upper endoscopy. This allows them to better visualize and detect abnormalities that include bleeding, inflammation, and tumors.

Experience Treating Challenging Diseases
We regularly treat rare forms of intestinal disease that can be serious, contagious, and recurring.

Comfort and Convenience
We offer a comfortable setting for tests and consultation. Intestinal disorders can produce uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal cramping, bloating, and gas. We aim to make you as comfortable as possible during diagnostic testing, and we schedule as many tests as possible during a single office visit, to make the process more convenient.