Ulcerative colitis can be an extremely debilitating disease that may lead to potentially life-threatening complications. Symptoms include abdominal pain and diarrhea with either blood or mucus present. Ulcerative Colitis can usually be treated with medicines; however, if medicines fail then surgery is required to cure the disease. David Magner, MD, FACS, FASCRS in Beverly Hills, California offers the best in patient-centered treatment, utilizing the most innovative and minimally-invasive approaches to colorectal surgery. If you think you might have ulcerative colitis, call Dr. Magner’s office or book online today.
Ulcerative colitis is a bowel disease that causes inflammation and sores, or ulcers, on the lining of your large intestine and rectum. Symptoms of ulcerative colitis usually develop gradually over time and can become so debilitating they prevent you from living a healthy life.
Without proper treatment, ulcerative colitis may lead to severe, life-threatening complications like liver disease, malnutrition or increased risk of colon cancer.
Ulcerative colitis symptoms may vary depending on the severity of your inflammation and where it’s located along your digestive tract. Most people have mild to moderate symptoms, which may include:
While the exact cause remains unknown, doctors believe genetics and immune system abnormalities might play a role in causing ulcerative colitis.
When your body’s immune system fights off an invading virus or bacterium, an abnormal response may trigger the immune cells to attack the healthy cells of your digestive tract.
Ulcerative colitis is common amongst men and women who have family members with the disease. However, most people suffering from ulcerative colitis don’t have a family history of it.
It’s important to tell your doctor whenever you experience rectal bleeding or severe diarrhea that doesn’t get better with over-the-counter medications.
Dr. Magner first does a physical exam, and then he runs tests to confirm you have ulcerative colitis and not a disease with similar symptoms, such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or diverticulitis.
Tests may include:
Initial treatment often involves medicines and dietary changes. Medicines may include anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, pain relievers, or immune system suppressors. Depending on the severity of your symptoms and the response to simple treatments, you might need surgery.