Ulcerative Colitis in Indianapolis, IN
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What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is a piece of a much larger group of conditions known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The condition causes irritating inflammation and ulcerations within your intestinal system, most often the colon. Ulcerative colitis is different from Crohn's disease (the alternate form of IBD) because it is restricted to one's colon. Crohn's disease, on the other hand, is almost always found near the end of the small bowel and at the beginning of the colon but can potentially impact any part of the gastrointestinal system all the way from the mouth to the anus. In addition, ulcerative colitis only affects the colon's inner lining, while Crohn’s disease might impact the whole of the bowel wall.
People who have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis often experience uncomfortable GI symptoms which interfere with their daily lives. At Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology, our board-certified gastroenterologists regularly diagnose and treat ulcerative colitis, and create working relationships with individuals to assist in providing a reprieve from its symptoms. To find treatment for ulcerative colitis in Indianapolis, IN, please contact our facility today.
Are there different kinds of ulcerative colitis?
There are a few different classifications of ulcerative colitis, which are often organized by anatomy:
Ulcerative proctitis: The inflammation of one's colon is isolated to a person's rectum and is usually the least severe type of ulcerative colitis. It is often a recognized indication of the presence of ulcerative proctitis (bleeding from the rectum).
Left-sided colitis: Swelling is more widespread through more of the colon and can involve areas beyond the rectum but is restrained to all or part of the sigmoid and descending colon. It usually presents with troubling symptoms, some of which could include bloody diarrhea and unintended loss of weight.
Pancolitis: This condition is also known as extensive colitis and might affect the whole of the colon. Symptoms might include extreme diarrhea containing blood, extreme pain in the abdomen, and tiredness.
Acute severe ulcerative colitis: This is a rare type of ulcerative colitis that affects the entirety of the colon. Its symptoms may include severe pain and the loss of ability to eat. This condition typically requires hospitalization and carries an increased chance of surgery.
What is the cause of ulcerative colitis?
The exact cause of ulcerative colitis remains unknown. However, we know some specific factors that appear to increase the presentation of ulcerative colitis and its related symptoms.
- Genetics: You may inherit genetic material from your parent or parents that heightens one's likelihood of developing ulcerative colitis.
- Immune system: It is presumed that internal bacteria or viruses will initiate the onset of ulcerative colitis. Anytime a virus or bacteria becomes present in one's digestive tract, your body activates your immune system to fight the virus or bacteria. Anytime this happens, the body deploys white blood cells to the colon where those cells end up attacking healthy cells and tissue. Because of this your colon, or large intestine, is then inflamed.
Risk factors for ulcerative colitis
Some of the risk factors related to having ulcerative colitis may include:
- Age: Ulcerative colitis typically presents prior to 30 years of age.
- Ethnicity or race: People of Ashkenazi Jewish descent and Caucasians appear to be at an elevated likelihood of developing ulcerative colitis, nonetheless, it can affect any ethnicity.
- Family history: If a member of your family suffers from ulcerative colitis, you may have an elevated likelihood of developing the disease.
What are the typical symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
Many symptoms related to ulcerative colitis come to appear over time, and they range from mild to severe. Symptoms of ulcerative colitis commonly include:
- Bloody stool
- Abdominal pain
- Drainage or pain around or near the anus
- Cramps in the stomach
- Bloody diarrhea with pus
- Sores in the mouth
- Rectal pain
- Normal menstrual cycle disruption
- Sudden loss of weight
If you ever notice bloody stool, please make contact with your doctor or another specialist in Indianapolis, IN without delay. You should see a gastroenterologist if you suffer from any of the above symptoms or a combination of symptoms on a regular basis. The board-certified gastroenterologists at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology offer skilled treatment for ulcerative colitis and can help treat and manage these problems.
How do you treat ulcerative colitis?
The ultimate objectives of ulcerative colitis treatments at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology are to control the swelling that initiates the symptoms and thereby achieve remission of the disease. Continuing treatment includes (but is not limited to) regular cancer screenings due to the fact that suffering from ulcerative colitis positions you at greater risk for later suffering from colon cancer. The main categories of ulcerative colitis treatments are listed below:
Antibiotics: Antibiotics may help eliminate bacteria connected with causing the excessive immune system reflex that leads to inflammation. This is not a primary form of treatment but may be administered in collaboration with alternate therapies.
Anti-inflammatory drugs: Anti-inflammatory medicines used to treat ulcerative colitis are corticosteroids and oral 5-aminosalicylates. Corticosteroids help decrease inflammation in the body and may be administered along with immune system suppressants. Oral 5-aminosalicylates are also useful in the reduction of swelling in the body.
Additional medications and supplements may be recommended to control and manage ulcerative colitis difficulties. These could include:
- Vitamin D and calcium supplementation
- Iron supplementation
- Vitamin B-12 shots
Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: This type of therapy addresses our body’s abnormal immune reaction to bacteria and viruses. The immunosuppressant medications your Indianapolis, IN gastroenterologist might prescribe include:
Nutrition and diet: Your GI practitioner may suggest a unique nutrition plan to assist in the relief of symptoms and induce remission.
Surgery: In extreme situations, surgical intervention may be required to take out a portion, or entirety, of the rectum or colon.
Ulcerative Colitis FAQs
Is ulcerative colitis a curable condition?
Currently, no cure has been identified for ulcerative colitis. Medication interventions may help control the condition and its symptoms, but they will not resolve it. Medication can, however, help you achieve and remain in remission.
Is ulcerative colitis caused by the food I eat?
A connection between diet and a definite cause of ulcerative colitis has not yet been identified. However, certain dietary factors could possibly increase the risk of getting the condition. This includes foods high in refined carbs, fats, and sugar and a diet low in fruits, vegetables, and fiber.
Who can diagnose and treat ulcerative colitis?
Most likely, your GI symptoms will cause you to visit your primary care practitioner (PCP). However, if your PCP suspects you may have ulcerative colitis, they will likely send you to a gastrointestinal provider, like those at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology. It may be necessary to visit a doctor specializing in the digestive tract.
Will anything help me stay in remission?
Ulcerative colitis can go into remission. Factors remember while the condition is in remission include:
- Medications: If you have a fever or pain, you might consider taking acetaminophen (such as Tylenol®) rather than an NSAID (like Motrin® or Advil®) since acetaminophen is less likely to cause symptoms. Consult your medical provider for more information.
- Change in Medication: If your current medications seem to trigger your ulcerative colitis symptoms, please contact our GI team. We may be able to change it out for something less likely to result in a flare-up.
- Your stress level: Stress can cause your symptoms to return. Regular exercise, managing your stress, and ensuring you get quality sleep might reduce your chances of further symptoms.
Find help for ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis has the ability to take a toll on your overarching comfort and digestive well-being. With specialized care, however, you can take charge of the situation and better your quality of life. Regardless of if you are suffering from the initial symptoms or controlling ulcerative colitis issues post-remission, the gastroenterologists at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology can offer you personalized care choices to help you find a reprieve. To consult a doctor who offers treatment for ulcerative colitis in Indianapolis, IN, get in touch with our office today.
Ulcerative Colitis Videos
I highly recommend Dr. Michael Morelli, M.D. at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology in St. Francis Hospital. He and his nurses always make me feel very comfortable and well informed.
Everything involved with my care were excellent,caring people
Kaitlyn Geiss is wonderful! I feel comfortable talking to her because she cares and is very knowledgeable and professional. Thank you Indy Gastro!
I saw Samantha Morgan, she was very knowledgeable and helpful. She took her time and made me feel at ease!
Dr Crane is easy to understand and both efficient and professional. He listens carefully without interrupting and shows concern and care for his patient in the questions he asks and the time he puts into diagnosis and treatment. He also seems readily accessible should a later need arise. I would highly recommend him to anyone having gastrointestinal problems.