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Ulcerative Colitis Specialist

Gastroenterology and Nutrition of Central Florida -  - Gastroenterologist

Gastroenterology and Nutrition of Central Florida

Gastroenterologists & Certified Nutritionists located in The Villages, Leesburg, & Wildwood, FL

Every year, around 70,000 Americans develop an inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis. At Gastroenterology & Nutrition of Central Florida, skilled gastroenterologists Nehme Gabriel, MD, and Raj Borade, MD, offer full-scale ulcerative colitis care, including medication and surgery, based on your needs. Call the office in The Villages, Leesburg, or Brownwood Paddock Square in Wildwood, Florida, or use online scheduling.

Ulcerative Colitis Q & A

What is ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is a disease in which the lining of your large intestine grows inflamed and irritated. This disease always occurs in the rectum (the lower large intestine) but can also occur in your colon (the upper large intestine). Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are the two inflammatory bowel diseases. 

What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis usually causes symptoms, such as:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Diarrhea
  • Fecal urgency
  • The sensation of a full rectum, even after a bowel movement

Severe ulcerative colitis can trigger more serious symptoms: 

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Fever

These symptoms may also occur in other diseases and conditions, including Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome. The physicians at Gastroenterology & Nutrition of Central Florida are highly experienced diagnosticians who can find the reason and appropriate treatment for your symptoms. 

How are ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease different?

Symptoms of the two diseases are similar, and both alternate periods of illness and remission. But, there are some important differences. 

Ulcerative colitis features inflammation in your innermost large intestine lining, while Crohn's causes inflammation throughout all tissue layers. 

While ulcerative colitis occurs only in your large intestine, Crohn's disease is often more widespread. It can develop anywhere in your digestive tract, even as high up as your mouth.

How do you diagnose ulcerative colitis?

Diagnosis can include blood work, stool testing, radiologic imaging, and endoscopic procedures like capsule endoscopy. Typically, your doctor performs a minimally invasive procedure like colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy to view your large intestine in detail and confirm your ulcerative colitis diagnosis.

How do you treat ulcerative colitis?

The first treatment goal is getting you into remission. To do so, you may take medications such as aminosalicylates, corticosteroids, immunomodulators, or biologics. You may need additional medication for troublesome symptoms like diarrhea. 

Once you're in remission, treatment goals shift to avoiding relapse. To avoid relapse, you must strictly follow medication recommendations long-term. Or, you could consider surgery.

If medication doesn't work for you, or if drug side-effects make you sick, surgery to remove your colon and rectum might be the best solution. Large intestine removal is the only cure for ulcerative colitis at this time, but it's a major decision. Your doctor can explain all the benefits and potential drawbacks.

Call the Gastroenterology & Nutrition of Central Florida office nearest you or book an appointment with online scheduling now for ulcerative colitis treatment.