Studies are ongoing to determine the exact cause for inflammatory bowel disease and to develop new treatment options. Possible treatments include new medications to reduce inflammation and a gene-based medication that may help promote healthy tissue growth in some patients. Minor differences in a group of genes (called the telomere repair complex) have been linked to certain autoimmune diseases. Research is ongoing to determine of patients who have IBD show patterns of genetic differences that are similar other immune system disorders.
Other studies involve a combination of a high-protein diet and a substance called human growth hormone (HGH). This treatment has been shown to reduce symptoms in some patients, but the long-term effects are not yet known.