When the symptoms of ulcerative colitis interfere with your quality of life, the experienced medical team at Digestive Disease Care offers personalized solutions that cater to your needs. At their six locations throughout New York, including East Setauket, Lake Success, Mineola, and Hicksville in Long Island, and Forest Hills and Jamaica in Queens, you can receive prompt diagnostic testing and comprehensive treatment to relieve ulcerative colitis pain and other symptoms. Schedule a diagnostic evaluation for ulcerative colitis at the Digestive Disease Care office nearest you or book online today.
Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes persistent inflammation and painful ulcers to develop in the innermost lining of your digestive tract, specifically the colon and rectum.
The root cause of ulcerative colitis isn’t well understood, but what you eat and high stress can contribute to the worsening of your condition. You may also be prone to developing ulcerative colitis if you have a dysfunction in your immune system, or if you have a family history of inflammatory bowel disease. Typically, the disease develops before age 30, but also commonly affects people over 60.
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis tend to develop slowly over time and can become severe enough to be life-threatening. The most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:
As a result of ulcerative colitis, you may also experience a sudden, urgent need to defecate or experience difficulties having a bowel movement.
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis can range from mild to severe, and it’s common to experience recurrent episodes of ulcerative colitis symptoms followed by periods of remission.
As there’s no standard test to diagnose ulcerative colitis, your Digestive Disease Care provider works to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms. They review your personal and family medical history, discuss your diet and lifestyle, and evaluate the frequency and severity of your symptoms.
To rule out existing infections in your digestive system, your provider may order blood or stool tests. You may also need imaging tests, like a CT scan or X-ray, to check for blockages.
Exploratory procedures, like a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy, allow your Digestive Disease Care provider to view your lower digestive tract and identify areas of inflammation or damage. These tests involve inserting a special instrument with an attached camera that sends real-time images of your inner digestive tract to an external monitor.
Your Digestive Disease Care provider customizes a treatment plan that caters to your needs. Depending on the severity and frequency of your ulcerative colitis symptoms, you may need medication therapy or surgery.
Medications are available to ease the pain of ulcerative colitis and reduce the chronic inflammation in your digestive tract.
If surgery is necessary, your Digestive Disease Care provider may recommend removing your entire colon and rectum. This surgery also creates an opening for stool to pass out of your body, which collects in a bag.
In addition to monitoring the results of your medication therapy or surgery, your Digestive Disease Care provider will recommend a timeline for cancer screening since having ulcerative colitis can increase your risk for the disease.
If you’re limited by what you can do because of ulcerative colitis symptoms, schedule a diagnostic consultation at Digestive Disease Care by calling the office nearest you or by booking online today.