Arkansas Gastroenterology Associates & Endoscopy Center
Gastroenterology and Endoscopy located in Hot Springs, AR
At least 750,000 Americans have ulcerative colitis. If you struggle with problems like abdominal pain, cramping, chronic fatigue, and bleeding after bowel movements, ulcerative colitis or another inflammatory bowel disease could be the issue. The ulcerative colitis specialists at Arkansas Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center, including John Brandt, MD, and J. Steven Mathews, MD, use the best in technology and innovation to deliver ulcerative colitis relief. Call the Hot Springs, Arkansas, office or use the online scheduler to book an appointment.
Ulcerative Colitis Q&A
What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease in which your large intestine and rectum lining grows inflamed and develops ulcers. Generally, it causes symptoms like abdominal pain that builds up gradually over time.
Eventually, ulcerative colitis can cause quite severe symptoms that may become debilitating. However, Arkansas Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center offers effective treatment solutions to help you dramatically reduce symptoms or potentially even go into remission.
What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
The most common indicator of ulcerative colitis is mild-to-moderate abdominal pain. You may also have the following symptoms:
- Bloody diarrhea
- Pus in diarrhea
- Rectal bleeding
- Mild-to-moderate rectal pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Stool urgency
- Tenesmus - the feeling that you didn't entirely clean out your rectum following a bowel movement
In more severe cases of ulcerative colitis, you might have severe abdominal pain, fever, dehydration, poor appetite, weight loss, and loss of bowel control.
Ulcerative colitis symptoms can be very similar to those of Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or other gastrointestinal problems, so see the Arkansas Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center team for a proper diagnosis and customized treatment.
How do you diagnose ulcerative colitis?
Your doctor reviews your symptoms, and then often uses testing like blood work to look for inflammation or anemia markers. You may also need stool testing, colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, capsule endoscopy, or other kinds of testing to confirm ulcerative colitis.
What is the best treatment for ulcerative colitis?
The first treatment goal is getting you into remission, and then afterward, the goal shifts to helping you maintain that remission. Your ulcerative colitis treatment may include:
- Anti-inflammatories - aminosalicylates that reduce inflammation
- Steroids - such as prednisone and budesonide that diminish inflammation
- Immunomodulators - suppress immune function to reduce inflammation
- Biologic agents - injections or infusions that target specific immune proteins or block inflammatory cells
Taking these drugs on a strict schedule is vital in controlling and managing ulcerative colitis. If medication doesn't help you achieve and maintain remission, you may need surgery.
In the most common surgical procedure, ileal pouch-anal anastomosis, your surgeon uses the end part of your small intestine to make a new path for your stool to pass through.
This way, you can have relatively normal bowel movements with no need for an external pouch. However, some patients need an external waste removal pouch that attaches to an opening in the stomach.
Use the online scheduler or call Arkansas Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center for ulcerative colitis treatment today.
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