Ulcerative Colitis in St. Louis, MO

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Ulcerative colitis is a part of a much larger set of conditions called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The condition creates irritation, swelling, and ulcerations inside your intestinal system, usually in the large intestine. Ulcerative colitis differs from Crohn's disease (another type of IBD) because it is limited only to the colon. Crohn's disease, conversely, is usually experienced at the end of the small bowel and at the beginning of the colon but can involve any portion of the intestinal system anywhere from the anus to the mouth. In addition, ulcerative colitis only affects the inner lining of the colon, whereas Crohn’s disease may affect the entirety of the bowel wall.

Patients who have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis commonly experience uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms that interfere with their daily lives. At Specialists in Gastroenterology, our board-certified gastrointestinal specialists routinely diagnose and treat ulcerative colitis, and collaborate with people to help provide relief from the symptoms it causes. If you are seeking help for ulcerative colitis in St. Louis, MO, please reach out to one of our locations as soon as possible.

There are a few different types of ulcerative colitis. They are characterized by location:

Ulcerative proctitis: The swelling of the colon is confined to the rectum and tends to be the least severe variety of ulcerative colitis. A common indication of the presence of ulcerative proctitis is bleeding from the rectum.

Left-sided colitis: Inflammation is more widely found through more of the colon and might involve more than the rectum but is confined to all or a portion of the sigmoid and descending colon. It often causes upsetting symptoms, some of which could include diarrhea containing blood and unplanned weight loss.

Pancolitis: This type of ulcerative colitis is also known as extensive colitis and might affect the whole of the colon. Symptoms can include extreme bloody diarrhea, severe pain in the abdomen, and fatigue.

Acute severe ulcerative colitis: This is a rare form of ulcerative colitis that affects the whole of the colon. Its symptoms may include serious pain and the inability to eat. The condition often demands hospitalization and is known to have an increased risk of surgery.

The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is still unknown. However, there are certain factors that can increase your risk of ulcerative colitis and its related symptoms.

  • Genetics: You could inherit genetic material from your parent or parents which raises your chance of developing ulcerative colitis.
  • Immune system: It is likely that internal bacteria or viruses may initiate the onset of ulcerative colitis. If a virus or bacteria enters one's digestive tract, the body enlists your immune system to fight the virus or bacteria. Anytime this occurs, your body directs white blood cells to the colon where they then attack non-problematic tissue and cells. Thereby, your colon or large intestine finds itself inflamed.

A portion of the complicating factors related to ulcerative colitis can include:

  • Race or ethnicity: People of Ashkenazi Jewish descent and Caucasians appear to have an increased chance of suffering from ulcerative colitis, nonetheless, it can affect any race.
  • Age: Ulcerative colitis most often presents before the age of 30.
  • Family history: If a relative has ulcerative colitis, you have a higher chance of suffering from this disease.

The majority of symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis manifest over time, and they range from mild to overwhelming. Symptoms of ulcerative colitis often include:

  • Pain or drainage near or around the anus
  • Bloody stool
  • Diarrhea with pus or blood
  • Mouth sores
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Sudden loss of weight
  • Pain in the rectum
  • Loss of normal menstrual cycle
  • Constipation
  • Cramps in the stomach

If you experience a bloody stool, we implore you to contact your provider in St. Louis, MO promptly. A gastroenterologist should be seen should you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms or any combination of symptoms regularly. The board-certified gastroenterologists at a Specialists in Gastroenterology location near you can provide specialized care for ulcerative colitis and can help treat and manage these concerns.

The main objectives of ulcerative colitis treatments are to minimize the inflammation that initiates your symptoms and then enter into remission of the condition. Continuing treatment includes but is not limited to screening for cancer, because having ulcerative colitis puts you at greater risk for a diagnosis of colon cancer. The primary parts of ulcerative colitis treatments are as follows:

Antibiotics: Antibiotics can assist in destroying bacteria connected with causing the unusual immune system reflex that is the cause of swelling. This is not a primary form of treatment but could be used in coordination with other treatments.

Anti-inflammatory drugs: Anti-inflammatory medicines used to treat ulcerative colitis are oral 5-aminosalicylates and corticosteroids. Corticosteroids help decrease inflammation in the body and may be prescribed in conjunction with immune system suppressors. Oral 5-aminosalicylates can also work to reduce swelling in the body.

Additional supplements and medications could be suggested to control and manage ulcerative colitis difficulties. These may include:

  • Shots of vitamin B-12
  • Anti-diarrheals
  • Calcium and vitamin D supplements
  • Iron supplementation

Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: These treatments address the body’s irregular immune reaction to viruses and bacteria. The immunosuppressant medications your St. Louis, MO gastroenterologist might prescribe include:

  • Tofacitinib
  • Infliximab
  • Natalizumab
  • Azathioprine
  • Methotrexate
  • Adalimumab
  • Ustekinumab
  • Vedolizumab
  • Certolizumab

Diet and Nutrition: Your GI specialist may suggest a special diet to help reduce symptoms and induce remission.

Surgery: In serious cases, surgery may be indicated to remove a piece of, or the whole, colon or rectum.

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Will ulcerative colitis improve?

Presently, no cure has been identified for ulcerative colitis. Medication interventions may be used to manage ulcerative colitis and associated symptoms, but it won’t resolve the condition. Medication can help you achieve and remain in disease remission.

Is ulcerative colitis caused by diet?

A link between food consumption and a direct cause of this GI disorder hasn’t been identified. Certain diets have been linked to an elevated risk of developing the condition. These foods include foods high in sugar, fats, and refined carbs and foods that are low in fiber, fruits, and veggies.

Who is qualified to diagnose ulcerative colitis?

If you experience GI issues, you will likely first visit your primary doctor. However, if your physician suspects ulcerative colitis, they will likely suggest you see a gastrointestinal specialist, like the ones at Specialists in Gastroenterology. It is important to visit a team that focuses on the GI tract for the most accurate diagnosis and care.

Can anything help me stay in remission?

In the event you’ve reached remission for your ulcerative colitis, you most likely do anything to stay in remission. Some things to note while you’re in remission include:

  • Stress: Your stress can cause a flare-up. Good sleep, exercising regularly, and working on your stress management might reduce your chances of symptom recurrence.
  • Medications: If you have pain or fever, you can consider taking acetaminophen like Tylenol® instead of Motrin® or Advil® (NSAIDs) because acetaminophen shouldn’t ignite symptoms. Consult your healthcare provider for further information.
  • Change in Medication: If you notice any of your medications seem to trigger your symptoms, please inform our GI team. We may be able to swap out your medication for something less likely to cause a flare-up.

Ulcerative colitis can affect your general comfort and digestive health. With specialized treatment, however, one can take charge of the condition and improve your quality of life. Regardless of if you are suffering from the very first symptoms or controlling ulcerative colitis issues post remission, the gastroenterologists at a Specialists in Gastroenterology location in your community can provide you with individualized treatment options to assist you in finding relief. To find a provider who offers care for ulcerative colitis in St. Louis, MO, please contact our facility as soon as possible.

Everybody was so professional. Dr. Reminded me of PRINCE! Thanks everyone for taking good care of me.

K.J. Google

Dr. Singh was great and the entire process was well communicated on time and super smooth. Highly recommend.

A.E. Google

Everyone is very knowledgeable and friendly. Makes a bad day into a good day. Dr Banerjee great bedside manner.

R.W. Google

Staff was Very friendly, Dr. was available for any questions.

K.F. Google

I thought he did an good job.

E.L. Google


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