Researchers estimate that about three million Americans have ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. Though there’s no cure, a combination of prescription medication and surgery can reduce its uncomfortable symptoms and improve your quality of life. At The Gastroenterology Group, the experts provide complete care for ulcerative colitis in a warm and welcoming environment. Call the office in Akron, Ohio, today or click the online booking feature to make an appointment.
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition. It causes ulcers and inflammation in your large intestine (colon). The disease develops slowly, and the symptoms affect everyone differently. For some people, ulcerative colitis triggers mild flare-ups; for others, it results in potentially life-threatening complications.
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:
As the condition gets worse, you can also develop a fever.
The Gastroenterology Group treats several kinds of ulcerative colitis, including:
This causes inflammation in the part of your colon closest to the anus and is characterized by rectal bleeding.
Proctosigmoiditis causes inflammation of your rectum and sigmoid colon (the bottom of your large intestine.) Common symptoms include bloody diarrhea, cramps, and abdominal pain.
Left-sided colitis causes inflammation throughout your rectum, sigmoid, and descending colon. Telltale signs include an urgent need to have a bowel movement and cramps on the left side of your abdomen.
Pancolitis causes inflammation of your entire colon. This kind of ulcerative colitis often causes severe bouts of bloody diarrhea.
Your provider asks about your symptoms and orders a colonoscopy to diagnose ulcerative colitis. A colonoscopy uses a thin tube with a light and high-definition camera on its end. This colonoscope is used to assess the health and condition of your colon.
Your provider could order blood tests to check for anemia or signs of infection and a stool sample. Analysis of a stool sample can help rule out other conditions that present similar symptoms, like viruses, bacteria, or parasites.
The Gastroenterology Group typically treats ulcerative colitis with a combination of prescription medication and surgery. Several drugs are used to treat ulcerative colitis, including anti-inflammatory medications, immune system suppressors, and biologics.
The most beneficial medication will depend on many things, including your age and how severe your symptoms are. At first, it’ll take some trial and error to find a medicine that helps you feel your best.
If prescription medications don’t provide significant relief, your provider might recommend surgery. During surgery for ulcerative colitis, your provider removes your colon and rectum and installs a J-pouch (a bag that collects stool). In these extreme cases, the specialists at The Gastroenterology Group will refer you to a surgeon.
To receive treatment for ulcerative colitis, make an appointment today at The Gastroenterology Group by calling the office or clicking the online booking feature.