Ulcerative colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease. Ulcerative colitis is frequently characterized by severe ulceration and inflammation of the lining of the large intestine. Patients with ulcerative colitis typically experience severe diarrhea. Stools may contain blood and/or mucus. Associated abdominal pain, cramping, fever, night sweats, eye pain, joint pain, skin rash and anemia may occur.
Ulcerative colitis is commonly diagnosed with a colonoscopy procedure and biopsy of the abdominal lining of the colon. Treatment for ulcerative colitis is dependent upon symptom severity and extent of colon involvement. Disease limited to the lower colon or rectum may be treated with medicated suppositories and enemas. Ulcerative colitis of the entire colon typically requires aggressive treatment. Treatment is often initiated with an anti-inflammatory medication. Severe cases may require corticosteroid therapy. Immunomodulatory drugs or new medications called biologics may be required in more steroid refractory cases. Patients who fail to respond to medicinal therapy may require surgical removal of the colon.
Interested in learning more? Please contact Regional Gi for additional information or to schedule an appointment with our board-certified GI specialists.