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