Ulcerative Colitis in Dallas, TX
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What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is just one condition of a group of conditions called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Ulcerative colitis results in irritating inflammation and ulcerations inside the intestinal system, usually the large intestine. Ulcerative colitis is distinct from Crohn's disease (the other type of IBD), as it is limited to the colon. Crohn's disease, alternately, is typically experienced at the end of the small bowel and beginning of one's colon, but can potentially involve any part of the GI tract from the mouth to the anus. Also, ulcerative colitis involves only the inner lining of the colon, while Crohn’s disease could affect the whole of the bowel wall.
Patients who have the challenges of suffering from ulcerative colitis often experience uncomfortable GI symptoms, which interfere with their everyday lives. At Digestive Health Associates of Texas, our board-certified gastroenterologists routinely identify and treat ulcerative colitis, and create working relationships with individuals to assist in providing a reprieve from its symptoms. If you need help with ulcerative colitis in Dallas, TX, please contact our team today to find a GI specialist in your area.
Are there different kinds of ulcerative colitis?
Several unique varieties of ulcerative colitis exist that are typically differentiated by location:
- Ulcerative proctitis: The swelling of the colon is isolated to the rectum and is usually the mildest variety of ulcerative colitis. A tell-tale sign of the presence of ulcerative proctitis is rectal bleeding.
- Left-sided colitis: Swelling is more dispersed throughout the colon and might involve more than the rectum, but is limited to all or part of the sigmoid and descending colon. It commonly causes serious symptoms, some of which could include diarrhea containing blood and unplanned weight loss.
- Pancolitis: This condition is known also as extensive colitis and may affect the entire colon. Symptoms can include bloody diarrhea, extreme abdominal pain, and tiredness.
- Acute severe ulcerative colitis: This is a less common variety of ulcerative colitis that affects the entirety of the colon. Its symptoms can include severe pain and the loss of the ability to eat. The condition often requires hospitalization and comes with an increased risk of surgery.
What is the cause of ulcerative colitis?
The exact cause of ulcerative colitis continues to be unidentified. However, we know some variables that appear to raise the chance of the onset of ulcerative colitis and its related challenges.
- Genetics: An individual can inherit genes from their parents, which elevate your likelihood of being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.
- Immune system: It is likely that internal bacteria or viruses could trigger the occurrence of ulcerative colitis. When a virus or bacteria becomes present in your digestive tract, the body initiates your immune system to fight the bacteria or virus. Any time this takes place, the body releases white blood cells to the colon in which case those cells then attack non-problematic cells and tissue. Because of this your colon, or large intestine becomes inflamed.
Risk factors for ulcerative colitis
A few of the dangerous factors related to suffering from ulcerative colitis may include:
- Family history: If a member of your family has ulcerative colitis, you have a higher chance of suffering from the disease.
- Age: Ulcerative colitis most commonly develops prior to the age of 30.
- Race or ethnicity: Caucasians and people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent appear to be at higher chance of suffering from ulcerative colitis, regardless it may impact any race.
What are the typical symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
The majority of symptoms common to ulcerative colitis tend to appear gradually, and may vary from subtle to overwhelming. Symptoms of ulcerative colitis commonly include:
- Sudden loss of weight
- Stomach cramps
- Bloody diarrhea with pus
- Normal menstrual cycle disruption
- Pain in the abdomen
- Rectal pain
- Mouth sores
- Bloody stool
- Pain or drainage around or near the anus
Should you ever notice blood in your stool, we implore you contact your physician or a specialist in Dallas, TX at once. A gastroenterologist should be seen any time you suffer from any of the afore mentioned symptoms or any combination of symptoms on a persistent basis. The board-certified gastroenterologists at Digestive Health Associates of Texas can provide skilled treatment for ulcerative colitis and can assist in the treatment and management of these problems.
How do you treat ulcerative colitis?
The primary intentions of ulcerative colitis treatments at Digestive Health Associates of Texas are to manage the inflammation that instigates the symptoms and subsequently enter into remission of the disease. Additional treatment includes but is not limited to screening for cancer, as having ulcerative colitis puts you at greater risk for developing colon cancer. The primary categories of ulcerative colitis treatments are as follows:
- Antibiotics: Antibiotics can help eliminate bacteria connected to causing the abnormal immune system response that leads to inflammation. This is not a mainstay of treatment but might be utilized in conjunction with alternate treatments.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs: Anti-inflammatory medicines used to treat ulcerative colitis are oral 5-aminosalicylates and corticosteroids. Corticosteroids assist in the reduction of inflammation in your body and can be administered in conjunction with immune system suppressors. Oral 5-aminosalicylates can also work to reduce swelling in the body.
- Additional supplements and medications: Additional supplements and medications could be recommended to help control and manage ulcerative colitis difficulties. These could include:
- Shots of vitamin B-12
- Calcium and vitamin D supplementation
- Iron supplements
- Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: This type of therapy addresses our body’s unusual immune reaction to viruses and bacteria. The immunosuppressant meds your Dallas, TX gastroenterologist could prescribe include:
- Diet and nutrition: Your GI specialist may recommend a specific nutrition plan to assist in the relief of symptoms and initiate remission.
- Surgery: In severe cases, surgical intervention could be required to remove a part of, or the whole, rectum or colon.
Ulcerative Colitis FAQs
Can ulcerative colitis be cured?
Currently, there is no cure for ulcerative colitis. However, medication can be used to control the condition and its associated symptoms. Though it will not resolve ulcerative colitis, it may help you achieve and remain in remission.
Is ulcerative colitis caused by the food I eat?
A link between diet and the cause of ulcerative colitis has not yet been identified. However, certain dietary factors may heighten the risk of developing the condition. This might include foods high in fats, sugar, and refined carbs and diets low in fiber, vegetables, and fruits.
Who can diagnose and treat ulcerative colitis?
Your gastrointestinal troubles may lead to a visit with your primary doctor. If your PCP suspects you may have ulcerative colitis, they will most likely refer you to a gastroenterologist, such as those at Digestive Health Associates of Texas. It can be helpful to consult a provider who specializes in digestive conditions.
What can help me reach and stay in remission?
It may be possible for ulcerative colitis to go into remission. Things to remember during disease remission include:
- Stress: Stress can cause a flare-up of symptoms. Getting quality sleep, exercising regularly, and managing your stress might minimize your chances of a flare-up.
- Medications: For pain or fever, you might consider taking acetaminophen (Tylenol®) instead of an NSAID such as Motrin® or Advil®. Acetaminophen is less likely to trigger symptoms. Speak with your healthcare provider to learn more.
- Medication change: Should your current medications trigger symptoms, please inform our GI team. We may be able to change your medications to those less likely to result in a flare-up.
Find help for ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis has the ability to affect your overarching comfort and digestive well-being. With experienced treatment, however, you can take charge of the situation and better your quality of life. No matter if you are suffering from the initial symptoms of or management of ulcerative colitis flare-ups post-remission, the network of gastroenterologists at Digestive Health Associates of Texas can provide you with personalized treatment choices to help you find a reprieve. To locate an ulcerative colitis provider in or around Dallas, TX, do not hesitate to contact our team as soon as possible.
Dr Shea is the best! He diagnosed my ulcerative colitis and has been taking care of me for 16 years now. I found him during a random search and I’m so glad I did. Staff is great too!!
After being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, Dr Nadir greatly improved the quality of my life and continues to do so! With a friendly staff, Dr Nadir delivers the highest quality care with the utmost sincerity. I feel fortunate to have him as my Specialist! Thank you Dr Nadir!
Dr. Hill is the kindest and most thoughtful doctor. He makes you feel comfortable even if you're discussing very sensitive issues regarding the colon. I would not go anywhere else.
Very professional and patient. Listens to all concerns and questions
Dr. McGee is very conservative with me and my problem. We found together a solution to my diarrhea and it worked. Only needed two visit. Back to my old self