NICE Launch Guidelines for Ulcerative Colitis & Crohn’s Disease

3rd May 2019


NICE has launched new guidelines for the management of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These guidelines aim to help health professionals provide consistent high-quality care in consultation with those affected.

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn´s Disease are the two most common Inflamatory Bowel Diseases, affecting over 260,000 people in the UK, both adults and children. The diseases can flare up and then go into remission, they can be difficult to treat and can have a big impact on the quality of life of those affected.

The new NICE guidelines for ulcerative colitis and Crohn´s disease are a welcomed overview of the best treatments available to induce and maintain remission, including options for surgery. The guidelines also cover how best to monitor patients for side effects and risks of these diseases, for example to maintain bone health, ensure appropriate growth and development in children, and minimise risk of developing colon cancer. Potential problems around pregnancy are also addressed. Crucially, the guidelines also emphasise the importance of providing appropriate information and support to patients and their families, and to make decisions together on what is the best approach to manage the disease.

Both ulcerative colitis and Crohn´s disease cause diarrhoea (sometimes bloody), abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss. Ulcerative colitis is confined to the rectum and sometimes the large bowel, while Crohn’s disease can affect the full length of the gut, from the mouth to the anus. The areas affected are inflammed and can become ulcerated, which can lead to blockages and perforations. You can find out more about ulcerative colitis and Crohn´s disease on the Conditions section of the Guts UK website.

NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) is a non-departmental public body responsible for providing national guidance and advice to improve health and social care. NICE guidelines are developed by collecting all the available resarch evidence on how to manage a specific condition and then bringing together health professionals, patients and others affected to decide on the best approach to care. You can find out more about this process from the NICE website.

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