Ulcerative Colitis in Arizona
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What is ulcerative colitis?
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.
Are there multiple types of ulcerative colitis?
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.
What is the cause of ulcerative colitis?
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.
Are there risk factors for ulcerative colitis?
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.
What are typical symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
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
- Abdominal pain
- Rectal pain
- Normal menstrual cycle disruption
- Cramps in the stomach
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.
How do you treat ulcerative colitis?
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
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:
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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Find help for ulcerative colitis
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.
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.
My experience with the doctor and staff was very good. Quick, efficient and painless process. I was very happy with appointment and procedure. I would refer Dr. Hauptman’s office for gastrointestinal appointments and procedures.
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!
I saw Dr. Stein today as a new patient with Ulcerative Colitis. He was very kind, supportive, and answered every single one of my questions without running out of the room. I feel very positive about his care and actually feel somewhat hopeful about getting my condition under control for the first time.
I would recommend Dr Lam to anyone! Very professional, takes the time to answer any questions and does a follow-up call post procedure. The staff is also 5 star 🌟 There is nothing but positives that I could say about the whole experience. Thank you Dr Lam and staff!!