Ulcerative colitis characterized by recurring episodes of inflammation limited to the mucosal layer of the colon . It involves the rectum and may extent in a proximal and continuous fashion to involve the other parts of colon.
Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis– Symptoms depends upon the severity of the disease. Usually patients complain of abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea., urgency , tensemus(feeling of incomplete defecation after having bowel movement). Patients may also have fever, fatigue and weight loss. If there is significant amount of blood loss in the stool, patients may complain of short of breath or palpitations due to anemia secondary to iron deficiency from blood loss.
Diagnosis – Your doctor might order blood tests to check for anemia , inflammation and electrolyte imbalances that can occur due to the diarrhea. You might also require imaging studies like a X rays or CT scan. The diagnosis of Ulcerative colitis can be confirmed only with Colonoscopy and biopsy where the physician will be able to have a closer view of the lining of your colon and he might be able to take a small sample of the diseased part which can be looked under the microscope to make a definite diagnosis.
Treatment – The goal of medical treatment is induction of remission and maintanance of remission. Aminosalicylates (sulfasalazine, mesalamine, olsalazine, and balsalazide) , steroids (prednisone), Immunomodulators (6-mercaptopurine, azathioprine) might be considered by your physician depending upon your symptoms. Biologic agents such as Remicade, Humira and Cimzia are also used in the treatment of Severe Ulcerative colitis.
Surgery is recommended for patients who are not responding to treatment, cannot tolerate medications or the develops any complications to the treatment.
Do you need treatment for ulcerative colitis ? Call Gastroenterology Institute of Orlando, FL at 407-201-3686 to learn more about treatment!