Understanding Ulcerative Colitis: Know Its Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
Living with a condition like ulcerative colitis (UC) can be difficult. However, with the proper education and guidance, you should be able to have a normal and fulfilling life. UC is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that substantially affects an individual’s large intestine or colon and the rectum, provoking uncomfortable symptoms and erratic flare-ups. At Specialists in Gastroenterology, our board-certified GI providers often provide treatment for this GI condition. Keep reading as our St. Louis, MO team of GI specialists reviews the cause and signs of UC, treatment options, and ways for dealing with flare-ups of UC.
What causes ulcerative colitis?
Even though the exact cause of UC is not completely understood, it is believed to come from a combination of inherited, societal, and immunological factors. Some things that might aid in developing UC include:
- Genetic predisposition
- Societal factors
- Stress and psychological elements
- Atypical gut microbiota
- Immune system irregularities
Patients should understand that ulcerative colitis is a complex disease, and the relationship between the factors involved in this condition is not yet understood. Research is ongoing to completely understand the details of ulcerative colitis. If you think you might have ulcerative colitis, we urge you to consult with a GI specialist for a diagnosis and relevant care. Our providers at Specialists in Gastroenterology are always ready to help you.
What are the common symptoms and signs of ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis symptoms typically look different from patient to patient. Some of the most common symptoms of US include:
- Unexpected weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Persistent diarrhea
- Reduced desire to eat
- The need to use the bathroom
- Blood in the stool
It is vital to know your warning signs and find help from a medical professional if you experience reoccurring or unrelenting symptoms. Swift diagnosis and assistance will help in managing your disease.
How is ulcerative colitis treated?
Our GI providers offer ulcerative colitis treatment in St. Louis, MO. Treating UC includes managing inflammation, relieving symptoms, and maintaining long-lasting remission. The first line of treatment typically consists of prescription medication, including aminosalicylates, corticosteroids, immunomodulators, or biologics. Such medications can help squander inflammation and manage your symptoms. A surgical treatment may be required for some people; however, surgery is typically reserved for more extreme cases or issues.
How are ulcerative colitis flare-ups managed?
Flare-ups are periods of intense symptoms and inflammation in the GI system. While flare-ups can be sporadic, there are steps you can take to manage and minimize the symptoms’ ramifications. Adhering to your recommended treatment is critical. Developing a wholesome quality of life, like regular exercise, reduction in stress, and a healthy diet, may help handle symptoms and decrease the frequency and severity of flare-ups. It is important to speak with your GI specialist if you have flare-ups for swift changes to your treatment plan if necessary.
Take back your life: Get personalized care for UC
By understanding ulcerative colitis signs and symptoms, getting adequate care, controlling flare-ups, and keeping up with a health-conscious lifestyle, you may be able to successfully manage your ulcerative colitis. If you’re living with ulcerative colitis, take the first step toward better management by seeing a gastrointestinal provider at Specialists in Gastroenterology. Keep in mind that immediate intervention and treatment can significantly improve your quality of life. Call your nearest St. Louis, MO location to request a consultation.