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Ask Stanford Med: Pediatric gastroenterologist taking questions on inflammatory bowel diseases

sick_kid_070813Millions of Americans suffer from inflammatory bowel disorders, including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and autoimmune problems in the intestine, such as celiac disease. These conditions occur when the body’s immune system wrongly attacks part of the gastrointestinal tract, and symptoms can often be aggravated by a person's dietary choices, turning food into more of a nuisance than nourishment.

There is no known medical cure for these chronic digestive diseases, and patients commonly require a lifetime of care. At Stanford, KT Park, MD, an instructor in pediatric gastroenterology, conducts research comparing the pharmaco-economics of various therapeutic and diagnostic strategies for chronic gastrointestinal diseases, with particular interests in Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease and chronic abdominal pain. He is also an attending physician for the gastroenterology and hepatology services at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

Earlier this year, Park and colleagues published findings (subscription required) showing that screening adolescents who are either symptomatic or at high-risk for celiac disease is more cost-effective than universal screening. He recently participated in a Twitter chat about the research and discussed topics related to celiac disease and his latest study.

In an effort to continue the Twitter conversation, and expand it to the broader topic of inflammatory bowel diseases, we've asked Park to respond to your questions on treating pediatric gastrointestinal diseases. You can submit a question by either sending a tweet that includes the hashtag #AskSUMed or posting it in the comments section below. We’ll collect questions until Wednesday (July 17) at 5 PM Pacific Time.

When submitting questions, please abide by the following ground rules:

  • Stay on topic
  • Be respectful to the person answering your questions
  • Be respectful to one another in submitting questions
  • Do not monopolize the conversation or post the same question repeatedly
  • Kindly ignore disrespectful or off topic comments
  • Know that Twitter handles and/or names may be used in the responses

Park will respond to a selection of the questions submitted, but not all of them, in a future entry on Scope.

Finally – and you may have already guessed this – an answer to any question submitted as part of this feature is meant to offer medical information, not medical advice. These answers are not a basis for any action or inaction, and they’re also not meant to replace the evaluation and determination of your doctor, who will address your specific medical needs and can make a diagnosis and give you the appropriate care.

Previously: Chat with Stanford pediatric gastroenterologist on celiac disease research archived on Storify, Living the gluten-free life, Spreading awareness of inflammatory bowel disease, one bathroom stall at a time, Getting to know – and thanking – the faces of Crohn’s disease, From frustration to foundation: Embracing a diagnosis of celiac disease and Gluten: The “new diet villain?”
Photo by Lance Nishihira

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