Ulcerative Colitis in Arizona

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Ulcerative colitis is a part of a more expansive grouping of conditions known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The condition causes irritating, swelling and ulcerations inside one's gastrointestinal (GI) tract, usually the colon. Ulcerative colitis is distinct from Crohn's disease (the other type of IBD) because it is limited only to the colon. Crohn's disease, alternately, is typically experienced at the end of the small intestine and at the beginning of one's colon, but can potentially affect any portion of the gastrointestinal system from the anus to the mouth. In addition, ulcerative colitis only affects the colon's inner lining, while Crohn’s disease may impact the whole of the bowel wall.

People who have the challenges of suffering with ulcerative colitis many times deal with uncomfortable gastrointestinal troubles that interfere with their everyday lives. At Arizona Digestive Health, our board-certified gastroenterologists regularly diagnose and treat ulcerative colitis, and create working relationships with individuals to assist in providing relief from its symptoms. If you are seeding help for ulcerative colitis in Phoenix, AZ, we implore you to contact our office as soon as possible.

There exist quite a few varying types of ulcerative colitis, which are usually classified by anatomy:

Ulcerative proctitis: The swelling of the colon is contained within the rectum and is typically the least severe type of ulcerative colitis. A common indication of the presence of ulcerative proctitis is rectal bleeding.

Left-sided colitis: Swelling is more dispersed through more of the colon and could affect areas beyond than the rectum, but is limited to all or part of the sigmoid and descending colon. It usually causes troubling symptoms, some of which could include diarrhea containing blood and unintended weight loss.

Pancolitis: This type of ulcerative colitis is known also as extensive colitis and may involve the entire colon. Symptoms can include extreme diarrhea containing blood, extreme pain in the abdomen, and fatigue.

Acute severe ulcerative colitis: This is a rare variety of ulcerative colitis which affects the entire colon. Its symptoms might include severe pain and the loss of ability to eat. This condition often requires hospitalization and holds an increased likelihood of surgery.

The specific cause of ulcerative colitis is still unidentified. However, we know some variables which consistently predict the manifestation of ulcerative colitis and its resulting challenges.

  • Genetics: An individual might inherit genetic material from their parents that increase one's chance of developing ulcerative colitis.
  • Immune system: It is commonly accepted that viruses or internal bacteria will trigger the occurrence of ulcerative colitis. Any time bacteria or a virus enters your digestive tract, the body initiates your immune system to defend against the virus or bacteria. When this happens, the body releases white blood cells to the colon where they end up attacking non-problematic tissue and cells. Due to this, your colon or large intestine becomes inflamed.

Some of the risk factors related to suffering from ulcerative colitis may include:

  • Ethnicity or race: People of Ashkenazi Jewish descent and Caucasians are at a higher chance of suffering from ulcerative colitis; still, the condition can affect any ethnicity.
  • Family history: If a member of your family has ulcerative colitis, you have an increased likelihood of suffering from this disease.
  • Age: Ulcerative colitis typically presents prior to the age of 30.

Many symptoms related to ulcerative colitis develop slowly and range from mild to severe. Symptoms of ulcerative colitis typically include:

  • Pain or drainage around or near the anus
  • Bloody stool
  • Bloody diarrhea with pus
  • Sudden loss of weight
  • Mouth sores
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rectal pain
  • Normal menstrual cycle disruption
  • Cramps in the stomach
  • Fever

In the event you ever see blood in your stool, please contact your doctor or a specialist in Phoenix, AZ right away. You should see a gastroenterologist if you become aware of any of the aforementioned symptoms or any combination of symptoms on a persistent basis. The board-certified gastroenterologists at Arizona Digestive Health offer skilled treatment for ulcerative colitis and can help treat and manage these symptoms.

The main objectives of ulcerative colitis treatments at Arizona Digestive Health are to control the inflammation that initiates your symptoms and thereby enter into remission of the condition. Ongoing treatment includes regular cancer screenings, as suffering from ulcerative colitis positions you at an elevated risk for a diagnosis of colon cancer. The primary categories of ulcerative colitis treatments are listed below:

Antibiotics: Antibiotics have been shown to assist in the destruction of bacteria connected with causing the unusual immune system reaction that proceeds to swelling. These are not a primary form of treatment but may be utilized in coordination with additional therapies.

Anti-inflammatory drugs: Anti-inflammatory medications utilized to manage ulcerative colitis are corticosteroids and oral 5-aminosalicylates. Corticosteroids assist in the reduction of inflammation in your body and can be prescribed along with immune system suppressors. Oral 5-aminosalicylates are also useful in the reduction of inflammation in the body.

Additional medications and supplements could be recommended to help ulcerative colitis difficulties. These could include:

  • Calcium and vitamin D supplementation
  • Iron supplements
  • Vitamin B-12 shots
  • Anti-diarrheals

Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: This type of therapy addresses our body’s irregular immune response to bacteria and viruses. The immunosuppressant drugs your Phoenix, AZ gastroenterologist might prescribe include:

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

Nutrition and diet: Your gastrointestinal doctor may suggest a special diet to help relieve symptoms and jumpstart remission.

Surgery: In extreme situations, surgical intervention might be needed to take out a portion of, or the complete, rectum or colon.

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Ulcerative colitis can take a toll on your overall enjoyment of life and digestive well-being. With specialized care, however, you can control the situation and improve your quality of life. Regardless of whether or not you are suffering from the very first symptoms or managing ulcerative colitis issues post-remission, the GI providers at Arizona Digestive Health can offer you individualized treatment options to assist you in finding a reprieve. To connect with a provider who offers treatment for ulcerative colitis in Phoenix, AZ, please contact our practice as soon as possible.

I’ve been a patient of Dr John Wells over thirty years now and would recommend him highly. He diagnosed my Ulcerative Colitis in 1990 and has cared for me through every flare up, hospital stay, colonoscopy and medication change with kindness, consideration and successful remission. He and his staff are top notch in my book. John Scott Fitzgerald

J.S. Google

I had Dr. Schwartz for the last few years and he's been great at diagnosing my ulcerative colitis and executing my colonoscopy. He's seems like a decent person and is very straightforward. I've never had any problems with him and I was surprised to see he only had one star reviews at the time of me posting this.

K.B. Google

Honan and Suzie are the best!! Honan reassures me... completely professional and kind with a medical plan in place I’m willing to follow... not the easiest patient..... I am a nurse and I saw the way he treated patients and cared for them... So I asked him to be my GI doctor as I thought I was dying from colon cancer... I have ulcerative colitis... dr Honan is the best the best!!!! dr honan saved my life.... twice!!!! MERCI!

M.L. Google

Dr. Grade has been my gastroenterologist for many years in the control and treatment of my ulcerative colitis, and I hope that continues for as long as I need him. I strongly value not only his expertise, but also how well he shares options and his reasoning in arriving at a suggested course of action. He is also warm and friendly and definitely a heck of a nice guy, qualities I have not often found in an accomplished professional.

G.C. Google

I was referred to Dr. Umar for a 2nd opinion, as I wanted another perspective regarding my ulcerative colitis treatment. Dr. Umar quickly got my UC under control and ensured that his staff touched bases with me regularly to keep my UC in remission. His instructions are always clear, and the team around him that assists his patients are top notch. I even referred my wife to him and she is also very pleased!

K.W. Google

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4.9

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