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 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.
Ulcerative colitis usually causes symptoms, such as:
Severe ulcerative colitis can trigger more serious symptoms:
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.
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.
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.
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.