Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitis Specialist
If you’re having bowel trouble, with blood or pus in your stool, it’s time to seek help. Darrien Gaston, MD, FACP, FACG, has been treating patients in the Beverly area of Chicago with ulcerative colitis for over 25 years, and he can help you too. Contact Metropolitan Gastroenterology Consultants today to learn about your treatment options. Call the office to schedule with Dr. Gaston, or book your appointment easily online.

Ulcerative Colitis Q & A

by Darrien Gaston, MD, FACP, FACG

What is ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that attacks the inner lining of your large intestine (your colon) and rectum. It’s often associated with long-lasting inflammation and can lead to ulcers developing in the digestive tract.

Although the symptoms of ulcerative colitis are treatable, there's no cure for the disorder. When left untreated, it can be debilitating and, in some cases, cause fatal complications.

What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?

The condition’s symptoms depend on the location of inflammation areas caused by ulcerative colitis. Some of the most common include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Blood or pus in stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Rectal pain or bleeding
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

In some individuals, ulcerative colitis may cause an urgency to have a bowel movement, but even with the persistent urge to defecate, they’re unable to go.

In children who have the disease, they may be diagnosed with failure to grow.

What causes ulcerative colitis?

The cause of ulcerative colitis is currently unknown, but many believe an immune system malfunction causes it. For some reason, the body over-responds to the bacteria normally found in the large intestine. Other foreign bacteria and virus may also be involved in the development of ulcerative colitis.

How is ulcerative colitis treated?

When Dr. Gaston treats you for ulcerative colitis, his goal is to reduce your symptoms and the frequency of flare-ups. This is often done with medication. He may recommend:

  • Antidiarrheal medications
  • Suppositories
  • Aminosalicylates
  • Corticosteroids
  • Immunomodulator medications
  • Biologics

In severe cases, Dr. Gaston may recommend the surgical removal of part or all of the large intestine. While this cures ulcerative colitis, it may not remedy other impacts of the disease, such as damage to the liver.

Beyond medications, Dr. Gaston may suggest changes to your diet. This includes increasing water intake and eating smaller meals more frequently. It’s also important to thoroughly chew your food when you have ulcerative colitis.

To reduce the frequency of symptoms, avoid:

  • Caffeine
  • High-fiber foods
  • Gas-forming foods

If stomach pain and bloating is causing you discomfort, it may be ulcerative colitis. Contact Dr. Gaston today to see what he can do for you. Call to schedule your appointment or book online now.

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