What is Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation and sores (ulcers) on the lining of your lower digestive tract. The combination of the inflammation and the pus and mucus produced by the ulcers can cause great discomfort and debilitating symptoms. The disease is caused by an abnormal response of your body’s immune system in the colon. What causes this response is unknown. About half of people with ulcerative colitis experience mild symptoms, and these symptoms can come and go with months or years in between flare ups.
What are the Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis?
The signs and symptoms of ulcerative colitis vary depending on the severity of inflammation and where in the colon it occurs. Symptoms may include:
- Diarrhea that may have blood or pus and doesn’t respond to over-the-counter medications
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Rectal pain
- Rectal bleeding
- Urgency to have a bowel movement
- Inability to move the bowels despite the feeling of urgency
- Weight loss
If you have a persistent change in your bowel habits, ongoing diarrhea, blood in your stool, or the symptoms listed above, schedule an appointment with Digestive Health Associates of Cheyenne. One of our providers will evaluate your condition, run tests to make a diagnosis, and talk with you about your treatment options.
How Do You Treat Ulcerative Colitis?
There is no cure for ulcerative colitis and treatments are unique to each person. There are many different categories of medications that help manage the symptoms, and different drugs work better for different people. Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatories, immune system suppressors, pain relievers, antibiotics, or anti-diarrheal medications, and often a combination, to help control the inflammation in your colon and relieve your symptoms. If medications are unsuccessful, you may need surgery to remove your colon.
Our board-certified, experienced physicians at Digestive Health Associates of Cheyenne will provide you with the best diagnosis and treatment options to help manage your ulcerative colitis. Contact us today.
Learn More: Ulcerative Colitis
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