Ulcerative Colitis in Texas
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What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is one part of a more expansive set of conditions referred to as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The condition creates irritating swelling and ulcerations inside the gastrointestinal (GI) system, usually the large intestine. Ulcerative colitis differs from Crohn's disease (the alternate form of IBD), as it is restricted to the colon. Crohn's disease, meanwhile, is almost always experienced at the end of the small intestine and at the beginning of the colon but has been known to affect any part of the intestinal system all the way from the anus up to the mouth. Ulcerative colitis also only affects the inner lining of the colon, while Crohn’s disease may impact the whole of the bowel wall.
Those diagnosed with ulcerative colitis commonly experience painful GI manifestations that create problems in their everyday lives. At Texas Digestive Disease Consultants, our providers regularly identify and treat ulcerative colitis and collaborate with patients to assist in providing relief from the symptoms it causes. To find treatment for ulcerative colitis in Texas, we invite you to request a consultation at a location near you today.
Are there different kinds of ulcerative colitis?
There are several distinct varieties of ulcerative colitis that are typically related to location:
Ulcerative proctitis: This tends to be the mildest form of ulcerative colitis, presenting with inflammation of the colon confined to the rectum. A typical symptom of ulcerative proctitis is rectal bleeding.
Left-sided colitis: Inflammation is more dispersed around the colon and may impact more than the rectum but is confined to all or a portion of the sigmoid and descending colon. The most common and concerning symptoms include unintended weight loss and bloody diarrhea.
Pancolitis: This condition is also referred to as extensive colitis and can affect the entire colon. Symptoms can include severe bloody diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, and tiredness.
Acute severe ulcerative colitis: This is a rare type of ulcerative colitis that affects the whole of the colon. Its symptoms may include severe pain and the inability to eat. This condition frequently requires hospitalization and comes with an increased chance of surgery.
What is the cause of ulcerative colitis?
The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is still not known. However, there are some factors that may predict the presentation of ulcerative colitis and its related symptoms.
- Genetics: Your parents may pass genes down to you that heighten the risk of developing ulcerative colitis.
- Immune system: It is believed that viruses or internal bacteria may initiate the onset of ulcerative colitis. When a virus or bacteria becomes present in your digestive tract, your body enlists your immune system to fight the intruder. Anytime this takes place, the body releases white blood cells to the colon that end up attacking healthy cells and tissue. Due to this, your colon or large intestine becomes inflamed.
Risk Factors for Ulcerative Colitis
A portion of the complicating factors related to ulcerative colitis may include:
- Age: Ulcerative colitis most often presents by age 30.
- Ethnicity or race: Caucasians and people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent have an increased chance of suffering from ulcerative colitis, but it can impact any race.
- Family history: If a family member lives with ulcerative colitis, you have a greater likelihood of developing the disease.
What are common symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
The majority of symptoms frequently experienced with ulcerative colitis develop slowly, and they range from moderate to overwhelming discomfort. Symptoms of ulcerative colitis commonly include:
- Normal menstrual cycle disruption
- Diarrhea with pus or blood
- Blood in the stool
- Pain or drainage around or near the anus
- Sudden loss of weight
- Pain in the rectum
- Stomach cramps
- Sores in the mouth
- Abdominal pain
Should you ever see bloody stool, we urge you to contact your GI provider in Texas as soon as possible, particularly if you become aware of any of the above symptoms or any combination of symptoms on a persistent basis. The board-certified gastroenterologists at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants offer experienced care for ulcerative colitis and can help treat and manage these problems.
How is ulcerative colitis treated?
The primary intentions of ulcerative colitis treatments at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants are to control the inflammation that causes the symptoms and subsequently enter into remission of the disease. Further treatment will include regular cancer screenings, as ulcerative colitis is a risk factor for developing colon cancer. The main categories of ulcerative colitis treatments are listed below:
Antibiotics: Antibiotics may assist in the destruction of bacteria associated with causing the abnormal immune system reflex that creates swelling. These are not a mainstay of therapy but may be utilized in collaboration with alternate therapies.
Anti-inflammatory drugs: Anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat ulcerative colitis are corticosteroids and oral 5-aminosalicylates. Corticosteroids help decrease swelling in the body and can be prescribed along with immune system suppressors. Oral 5-aminosalicylates can also work to reduce swelling in the body.
Additional supplements and medications might be recommended to help ulcerative colitis symptoms. These may include:
- Shots of vitamin B-12
- Iron supplements
- Vitamin D and calcium supplements
Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: These treatments address the body’s abnormal immune response to bacteria and viruses. The immunosuppressant medications your Texas gastroenterologist might prescribe include:
Nutrition and diet: Your provider may suggest a unique nutrition plan to help relieve symptoms and aid in inducing remission.
Surgery: In extreme circumstances, surgical intervention may be needed to excise a portion of, or the entire, colon or rectum.
Ulcerative Colitis FAQs
Can my ulcerative colitis improve?
Presently, there is no cure for this disease. Medication may manage the condition and its symptoms, but it will not cure the condition. However, it may be able to help you reach and remain in remission.
Is ulcerative colitis caused by diet?
A link between food consumption and a direct cause of this condition has not yet been found. Certain diet choices have been related to the heightened risk of getting ulcerative colitis. This includes foods high in sugar, fats, and refined carbs and those low in fruits, veggies, and fiber.
Who is able to diagnose ulcerative colitis?
It’s likely that your troubles will send you to your primary care practitioner (PCP). However, if your doctor suspects ulcerative colitis, they should refer you to a gastrointestinal specialist, like those at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants. It is important to consult a team that specializes in the digestive system.
What can help me reach and stay in remission?
If you’ve reached remission for ulcerative colitis, you will most likely do anything to remain in remission. A few tips to help you remain in remission are:
- Change in Medication: If you notice your current medications are resulting in ulcerative colitis symptoms, please contact our gastroenterologists. We may want to swap out your medication for something less likely to cause a flare-up.
- Medications: For pain or fever, you may need to use acetaminophen like Tylenol® as opposed to an NSAID like Motrin® or Advil® because acetaminophen shouldn’t trigger your symptoms. Speak with your physician for more information.
- Stress: Stress can cause a flare-up. Good sleep, exercising regularly, and working on stress management might reduce your chances of further symptoms.
How to find help for ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis has the ability to affect your overall enjoyment of life and digestive well-being. With experienced care, however, you can control the condition and better your quality of life. Whether you are suffering from the early symptoms or managing ulcerative colitis flare-ups post-remission, the providers at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants can provide you with individualized treatment choices to assist you in finding relief. To consult a doctor who offers treatment for ulcerative colitis in Texas, please request a consultation at your nearest location.
Ulcerative Colitis Videos
Dr. Patel is one of the BEST doctors that I’ve ever seen in ANY type of specialty. I have two autoimmune diseases, so I’ve seen a lot of different specialists! Dr. Patel is concerned about her patients’ well-being as a whole and not just for the problems that she’s treating. She went above and beyond to consult with my rheumatologist about the dosing schedule of Remicade so that both the ulcerative colitis that she treats and the Ankylosing Spondylitis that he treats could be most effective. We are fortunate to have Dr. Patel in the Texoma area!
Dr. Metha is Absolutely Great. I've been under his care for 15 years. He has pulled me out of some dark places with my ulcerative Colitis. Started out on Liaida, condition worsened , went to Remicade infusions, antibodies built up after 10 years on that treatment. Backslid BIG TIME. Didn't work for a month. Couldn't leave the house. Currently on Entivyo infusions. Been a year now. Things are Great. Colonoscopy was good. I'll be with him until he retires. Wish nothing but the Best for him and his family.
Dr. Nagaraj has been my gastroenterologist since I moved to Texas over 10 years ago and she has taken my ulcerative colitis from constant flare up to remission. She is a awesome gastroenterologist as well as the staff in the office, always very professional and caring.
Dr Ravi Mani keeps up-to-date on Crohns/Ulcerative Colitis. He is ACES with his personal communication with a patient. Been with him appx 14 years. Completely satisfied with office staff and infusion nurse.
I was in a bad shape with my Ulcerative Colitis flare up and had a lot of questions in mind before I met Dr. Patel. During the consultation, Dr. Patel takes time to explain me about everything related UC and provided an earliest schedule for Colonoscopy procedure. It was very seamless. Feeling much much better after started Dr. Patel's medication. I definitely recommend Dr. Patel. He is one of the best I have ever met. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Patel for everything.