Ulcerative colitis can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, and rectal bleeding that may worsen, fade for weeks to months, and then return without warning. There is treatment available for ulcerative colitis. The board-certified specialists at Fairfax Colon & Rectal Surgery, PC have significant experience diagnosing and treating this inflammatory bowel disease. Schedule your evaluation today. Call their office in Fairfax, Fair Oaks, Alexandria, Gainesville, Woodbridge, or Lansdowne, Virginia. Or use their secure online service to request an appointment.
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation and open sores (ulcers) on the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum. It’s a chronic condition with no cure, but many effective treatments can control the symptoms and help prevent life-threatening complications.
Doctors generally categorize ulcerative colitis according to the area it affects:
This type is confined to the rectum and may cause rectal bleeding.
This category of ulcerative colitis involves the rectum and the lower end of the colon (sigmoid colon).
The inflammation associated with left-sided colitis extends from the rectum to descending colon.
Pancolitis affects the entire colon and increases the risk of severe symptoms and complications such as colorectal cancer.
Ulcerative colitis symptoms can vary and may include:
Children can also develop ulcerative colitis, which often causes failure to thrive.
Possible health complications of untreated or poorly managed ulcerative colitis include:
A severe flare of ulcerative colitis can also cause rapid swelling of the colon (toxic megacolon), a life-threatening condition requiring urgent medical attention.
Ulcerative colitis treatment includes a combination of medications designed to control inflammation and induce long-term remission. Fortunately, researchers continue to develop medicines that effectively manage inflammatory bowel disease.
The specialists at FCRS customize treatment strategies that may include anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressants, and biologics. You may also benefit from periodic courses of antidiarrheal medication and antispasmodics to control cramping.
People with ulcerative colitis require routine follow-up visits and labs to monitor the effects of their treatments. You may also need more frequent screening for colon cancer and other health complications related to inflammatory bowel disease.
Although ulcerative colitis can’t yet be cured, your specialist continues to work with you to develop an optimal treatment plan.
Schedule an evaluation at FCRS today by calling the nearest office or requesting an appointment online.