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The Best Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis affects the large intestine. It occurs when your immune system goes haywire and causes inflammation and tiny, open sores called ulcers to appear in this area of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

A diagnosis of an inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis may leave you with lots of questions – particularly what it means for your health and future, and how to best manage the symptoms so it doesn’t take over your life.

At Digestive Disorders Associates in Annapolis, Maryland, our team of providers helps people with ulcerative colitis with a diagnosis and ongoing treatment of this life-long illness. Ulcerative colitis has no cure, but strategies can help you manage the condition so you experience better health and wellness.

The impact of ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis causes serious belly pain and weight loss. People with the disease may also experience:

Symptoms aren’t always isolated to the GI tract. You may also have joint pain, liver disorders, osteoporosis, rashes, kidney stones, and skin sores as a complication.

The symptoms and dysfunction caused by ulcerative colitis impacts you and your loved ones emotionally, physically, and financially. Treatments – including lifestyle interventions, medications, and surgery – can ease the stress of ulcerative colitis so you can live a more normal life.

Lifestyle interventions

Lifestyle changes are often the best ways to manage ulcerative colitis. Our team at Digestive Disorders Associates can help you devise a diet plan by identifying your specific triggers for flare-ups. Your diet doesn’t cause ulcerative colitis, but can aggravate it. 

Soft, bland foods are often best tolerated, especially when compared to spicy or fatty foods. Some patients with ulcerative colitis are lactose intolerant and benefit from removing dairy from their eating plans. Our doctors also recommend drinking more liquids and taking certain supplements to potentially help you avoid the complications of dehydration and poor nutrient absorption.

Medication support

A variety of medications that stop diarrhea, reduce inflammation, suppress your immune system, and alleviate pain often successfully mitigate the complications of ulcerative colitis. Medication may also help you reduce the number of flare-ups you experience and keep your periods of remission longer than when you’re unmanaged.

Surgery for ulcerative colitis

While surgery isn’t the first line of treatment for ulcerative colitis, it may be your best option when more conservative interventions fail to help you find relief. Surgery can actually eliminate ulcerative colitis and its symptoms, but it comes with a cost: You must have your rectum and colon removed in the process.

If you do undergo this major procedure, your small intestine may be attached to your anus so you can use the restroom normally. In some cases, your small intestine is instead attached to a pouch to collect stool.

Before recommending surgery, our doctors explain exactly what to expect and review any and all other treatment options.

If you have ulcerative colitis and want to seek relief from the discomfort and potential health complications associated with the condition, our team at Digestive Disorders Associates is ready to help. Call the office to schedule a sit-down with the team. We’ll review all your treatment options and work with you to come up with a plan that’s best for your physical and emotional health. 

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