Now Accepting SAME-DAY DDA appointments for patients experiencing urgent symptoms. Please visit our SAME-DAY DDA page here to learn more.

Myths and Facts About Ulcerative Colitis

Call our office in Annapolis, Maryland, or use the online tool to make your appointment today. 

Ulcerative colitis affects about 1 million people in the United States. This form of inflammatory bowel disease affects your colon, causing inflammation and subsequent irritation and digestive distress. 

Symptoms usually develop over time and can progress to a point where they’re debilitating with the possibility of life-threatening complications. The board-certified gastroenterology team at Digestive Disorders Associates can’t cure your ulcerative colitis -- no one can -- but we can help greatly reduce the symptoms of the disease.

If you’re newly diagnosed with ulcerative colitis or have been living with it for a while, understanding some of the myths and facts associated with your condition can help you achieve remission. 

MYTH: You can cure ulcerative colitis with diet

FACT: There is no known cure for ulcerative colitis, not even diet. Just like your diet isn’t the reason you developed ulcerative colitis, changing it isn’t a magic bullet to reverse it.

That being said, what you eat can affect your ulcerative colitis symptoms. At Digestive Disorders Associates, we are familiar with the condition and can help you find a diet that works best for you. Our team works with you to identify trigger foods and may offer recommendations to eat small meals, drink plenty of liquids, and limit dairy products. 

MYTH: All inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are alike

FACT: Ulcerative colitis falls under a category of diseases known as IBDs, but has its own distinct symptoms and effects on the body. 

Ulcerative colitis is not the same as Crohn’s disease, another IBD. While Crohn’s disease can negatively affect any portion of the digestive tract, ulcerative colitis only affects the lining of the large intestine. This means you may have unique symptoms, like bloody stool, that don’t appear with other forms of IBD. 

MYTH: Ulcerative colitis is a mild form of IBD

FACT: Everyone’s experience with ulcerative colitis is unique. While ulcerative colitis can be quite manageable in some people, others have symptoms that are more severe than those that occur with Crohn’s disease. Some people with ulcerative colitis experience intense inflammation of the colon that can cause perforation and requires surgery. 

MYTH: Surgery is inevitable if you have ulcerative colitis

FACT: People with mild forms of colitis can control their symptoms with medication and usually don’t need surgery. 

Surgery is performed in more severe cases and involves removing the colon and the lining of your rectum. In rare cases, patients need to wear an ostomy bag to remove body waste. 

MYTH: Control your stress, and you’ll control ulcerative colitis

FACT: Stress does not cause ulcerative colitis, and reducing it is not a proven cure. But stress can make your ulcerative colitis symptoms worse. 

Stress can contribute to inflammation, so you may notice if you’re facing a work deadline or a family crisis, your ulcerative colitis symptoms flare. 

We can help by recommending stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, exercise, journaling, or massage. 

These are only some of the myths surrounding ulcerative colitis. If you have questions, hear something, or read something that makes you question your condition or treatment, contact us at Digestive Disorders Associates. We’ll give you the best education and treatment plan based on your particular diagnosis and symptoms. 

Call our office in Annapolis, Maryland, or use the online tool to make your appointment today. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

IBS vs. IBD

The initials are similar, and the symptoms often are as well, but IBS and IBD are distinct digestive disorders. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) need different treatments, so it’s important to know the difference.

Who's at Risk for Colon Cancer?

Your risk for colon cancer greatly increases as you get older, but age isn’t the only thing that makes you more likely to develop the disease. Many other factors play a role.

Three Types of Hepatitis and What to Do About Them

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver, but it’s not just one disease. Depending on its origins, you may have acute symptoms that last only for the short term or symptoms that become chronic. Here’s more about the most common types of hepatitis.

Understanding Crohn's Disease

Crohn’s disease is a serious inflammatory bowel condition that can be managed, but not cured. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed, here’s information to help you learn all you can about this condition.

Which Special Diet Do I Need?

Your food and drink choices greatly affect your digestive health, so a quick reform of unhealthy habits can help you feel better. Some people benefit from a special diet that keeps their IBS, IBD, acid reflux, or other condition under control.

Autoimmune Disorders That Cause Pancreatitis

The immune system is designed to keep your body healthy, but when it malfunctions, your body suffers. Autoimmune conditions can cause innumerable issues with your health, including inflammation of the pancreas, known as pancreatitis.