Ulcerative Colitis in Louisiana
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What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is an individual part of a larger group of conditions referred to as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The condition creates painful swelling and ulcerations inside the intestinal system, most often the colon. Ulcerative colitis differs from Crohn's disease (the other form of IBD), as it is limited only to the colon. Crohn's disease, alternately, is most commonly found at the end of the small intestine and at the beginning of the colon. However, it can potentially involve any part of the intestinal system at any point between the mouth to the anus. Also, ulcerative colitis only affects the colon's inner lining, whereas Crohn’s disease might impact the whole of the intestinal wall.
Patients who have the challenges associated with ulcerative colitis are often forced to bear uncomfortable GI symptoms which interfere with their daily lives. At GastroGroup & Endocenter, our board-certified GI doctors routinely diagnose and treat ulcerative colitis, and collaborate with patients to assist in providing a reprieve from the symptoms it causes. If you need help with ulcerative colitis in Louisiana, reach out to our location soon as possible.
Are there different kinds of ulcerative colitis?
There are several unique types of ulcerative colitis, that are usually related to anatomy:
Ulcerative proctitis: The swelling of one's colon is isolated to one's rectum and is typically the least severe type of ulcerative colitis. A common sign of the presence of ulcerative proctitis is bleeding from the rectum.
Left-sided colitis: Swelling is more widespread throughout the colon and might impact more than the rectum. But, it is confined to all or a portion of the sigmoid and descending colon. It usually presents with troubling symptoms, some of which could include bloody diarrhea and unplanned weight loss.
Pancolitis: This type of ulcerative colitis is known also as extensive colitis and may involve the entire colon. Symptoms can include serious bloody diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, and fatigue.
Acute severe ulcerative colitis: This is a less common form of ulcerative colitis that affects the entirety of the colon. Its symptoms can include extreme pain and the inability to eat. The condition usually demands hospitalization and is known to have an increased risk of surgery.
What is the cause of ulcerative colitis?
The exact cause of ulcerative colitis remains unidentified. However, we have identified some variables which seem to predict the manifestation of ulcerative colitis and its related symptoms.
- Genetics: You can inherit genetic material from your parent or parents that elevates one's risk of developing ulcerative colitis.
- Immune system: It is presumed that internal bacteria or viruses will initiate the onset of ulcerative colitis. In the event that bacteria or a virus becomes present in your digestive tract, the body enlists your immune system to defend against the bacteria or virus. Anytime this happens, your body releases white blood cells to the colon and those cells end up attacking non-problematic cells and tissue. As a result, your colon (or large intestine) is then inflamed.
Risk factors of ulcerative colitis
Some of the risk factors related to suffering from ulcerative colitis include:
Ethnicity or race: Caucasians and people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent appear to be at an elevated likelihood of developing ulcerative colitis, nonetheless, the condition can affect any race.
Family history: If a family member lives with ulcerative colitis, you may have an elevated likelihood of developing this disease.
Age: Ulcerative colitis typically presents before 30 years of age.
What are some common symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
Most symptoms common to ulcerative colitis develop over time and vary from subtle to overwhelming. Symptoms of ulcerative colitis often include:
- Loss of normal menstrual cycle
- Pain in the rectum
- Abdominal pain
- Stomach cramps
- Sudden loss of weight
- Mouth sores
- Bloody diarrhea with pus
- Drainage or pain near or around the anus
- Blood in the stool
If you ever see bloody stool, we urge you to contact your doctor or another specialist in Louisiana right away. A gastroenterologist should be seen anytime you experience any of the above symptoms or any combination of symptoms on a recurring basis. The board-certified gastroenterologists at GastroGroup & Endocenter offer skilled treatment for ulcerative colitis and can assist in the treatment and management of these concerns.
How do you treat ulcerative colitis?
The ultimate goals of ulcerative colitis treatments at GastroGroup & Endocenter are to minimize the swelling that causes the symptoms, and then achieve remission of the disease. Ongoing treatment includes screening for cancer, as having ulcerative colitis puts you at greater risk for later suffering from colon cancer. The main type of ulcerative colitis treatments are listed below:
Antibiotics: Antibiotics have been shown to help destroy bacteria known to cause abnormal immune system reflex that leads to inflammation. This is not a mainstay of therapy but can be utilized in collaboration with other treatments.
Anti-inflammatory drugs: Anti-inflammatory medicines utilized to treat ulcerative colitis are oral 5-aminosalicylates and corticosteroids. Corticosteroids assist in the reduction of inflammation in the body and can be recommended along with immune system suppressants. Oral 5-aminosalicylates are also useful in the reduction of inflammation in your body.
Additional medications and supplements may be recommended to control and manage ulcerative colitis difficulties. These may include:
- Calcium and vitamin D supplements
- Vitamin B-12 shots
- Iron supplementation
Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: This type of therapy addresses the body’s abnormal immune response to bacteria and viruses. The immunosuppressant drugs your Louisiana gastroenterologist might prescribe include:
Diet and Nutrition: Your gastrointestinal provider may suggest a unique diet to help relieve symptoms and encourage remission.
Surgery: In serious circumstances, surgery might be indicated to excise a part of, or the complete, colon or rectum.
Ulcerative Colitis FAQs
Will my ulcerative colitis go away?
At this time, there is no cure for ulcerative colitis. Medicine can manage ulcerative colitis and associated symptoms, but it will not resolve your condition. Medication can, however, help you reach and remain in remission.
Was my ulcerative colitis caused by my diet?
A link between diet and a definite cause of this condition has not yet been determined. Certain diet choices, however, have been associated with an increase in the risk of developing the condition. This includes foods high in fats, sugar, and refined carbs and those low in fiber, fruits, and veggies.
Who is qualified to diagnose and treat ulcerative colitis?
It’s likely that your GI issues will cause you to visit your primary care practitioner (PCP). If your doctor suspects ulcerative colitis, they will likely send you to a gastroenterologist, like those at GastroGroup and Endocenter. It is important to visit a physician that specializes in the GI tract.
Can anything help me reach and stay in remission from ulcerative colitis?
If you’ve reached remission for ulcerative colitis, you will likely want to do anything you can to remain there. Factors to note while you’re in remission include:
- Your stress level: Stress can cause a flare-up. Good sleep, exercising regularly, and learning stress management might reduce your chances of a flare-up.
- Medications: For pain or fever, you may consider using acetaminophen like Tylenol® instead of Motrin® or Advil® (NSAIDs) since acetaminophen is less likely to ignite symptoms. Speak with your physician for more information.
- Change in Medication: If you notice any of your current medications are resulting in symptoms, get in touch with our gastroenterologists. We may be able to swap it out for a medication less likely to result in a flare-up.
Get help for ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis can impact your day-to-day life and digestive health. With experienced treatment, however, you can manage the condition and enhance your quality of life. No matter if you are experiencing the beginning symptoms or managing ulcerative colitis regression after remission, the GI doctors at GastroGroup & Endocenter can provide you with personalized care choices to help you find a reprieve. To meet with a physician who offers treatment for ulcerative colitis in Louisiana, reach out to one of our locations as soon as possible.
The care that I received at the hands of the doctor's and staff,was so enjoyable and pleasant,I was there and gone and back at home before I knew it, thumbs up to THE GASTRO FAMILY,AND SMH FAMILY!!!
Dr. Ranney’s staff is super helpful and nice. As this was my first visit with Dr. Ranney, he patiently listened to all of my complaints and problems. At no time did I feel rushed or hurried. When my appointment was over, he walked me out to the desk of the person who was to schedule an upcoming test. She was also extremely nice and helpful. It was, overall, a very pleasant experience.
Great explanation of my particular issue so I could understand. Dr was brief and to the point. Waiting lobby comfortable and wait time was short.
Very professional, took the time, listened, and explained everything to me.