This chronic (long-term) condition is associated with inflammation and ulcerations (sores) in the lining of the colon and rectum.
Ulcerative colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease. It is a chronic (long-term) illness that is associated with inflammation and ulcerations in the lining of the colon and rectum.
Healthcare providers do not know the exact cause of ulcerative colitis. However, they think it may be caused by a combination of environmental, genetic and immune factors.
The primary symptoms of ulcerative colitis are abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea that often contains pus and mucus.
Symptoms of mild ulcerative colitis include:
Symptoms of moderate ulcerative colitis include:
Symptoms of severe ulcerative colitis include
Contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of ulcerative colitis. He or she will look at your medical history and perform a physical exam. To check the severity of your disease and response to treatment, they may order:
Some procedures that may be ordered include a flexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy.
The goal of treatment for ulcerative colitis is to improve symptoms and prevent future episodes.
Treatment for ulcerative colitis includes:
If you are unable to take in enough nourishment or your bowels need a rest, you may need intravenous feedings.
You made need surgery if your symptoms are severe, medication has not provided relief or you have complications of ulcerative colitis.
Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of colitis.
Here are some questions to ask your healthcare provider.
Make sure you understand your treatment plan, any possible alternatives, and what medications are recommended (including possible side effects). If surgery is recommended, you should understand why that recommendation was made. Seek a second opinion if necessary.
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