Ulcerative Colitis Specialist

Digestive Disorders Associates and MDTEC

Gastroenterology & Hepatology located in Annapolis, MD

Ulcerative colitis causes inflammation and sores in your colon, which mean you end up with gastrointestinal symptoms that make it hard to stay active and enjoy each day. The doctors at Digestive Disorders Associates in Annapolis, Chester, and Gambrills/Waugh Chapel, Maryland, have extensive expertise in the diagnosis, treatment, and long-term management of ulcerative colitis. They can help you find relief from symptoms, so call the nearest office or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment today.

Ulcerative Colitis Q & A

What is ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects your large intestine (colon). The amount of inflammation varies from one person to the next. In some, the inflammation stays in their rectum and lower end of the colon. In other patients, inflammation progresses up through the colon, ultimately affecting its full length.


What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?

Although it’s a long-term disease, most patients don’t have constant symptoms. You may experience periods when the disease goes into remission, then times when the symptoms flare up again.

The ongoing inflammation causes swelling and irritation, then ulcers develop in the lining of your large intestine.

The most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis are diarrhea with blood or pus and abdominal pain and cramping, but you may also experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Urgent need to have a bowel movement

If you lose too much blood, you may develop iron deficiency anemia.


Will I have symptoms outside my colon?

Ulcerative colitis can cause symptoms in almost any organ in your body. It’s estimated that 42% of patients develop symptoms beyond the colon, such as skin rashes and ulcers, eye irritation and inflammation, and joint pain.


How is ulcerative colitis treated?

When treating ulcerative colitis, your doctor at Digestive Disorders Associates creates a customized treatment plan based on the severity of your symptoms and your overall health. Your treatment may include:


Dietary guidance

Avoiding certain foods and beverages while drinking more liquids and getting balanced nutrition can help reduce your symptoms. Your doctor at Digestive Disorders Associates may recommend supplements and a specific type of diet plan.


Medications

A variety of medications are available to stop diarrhea, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and slow down your immune system. Some medications can put your ulcerative colitis into remission or help keep it there longer.


Surgery

When medications aren’t effective, your doctor may recommend surgical intervention. Although surgery can eliminate ulcerative colitis, doing that means removing your rectum and colon.

If you choose to undergo this procedure, your surgeon may be able to attach your small intestine to your anus so you can go to the bathroom normally. In other cases, the small intestine is connected to a pouch that collects stool.

If you suffer from diarrhea and stomach pain, get the expert help you need at Digestive Disorders Associates in Annapolis, Chester, and Gambrills/Waugh Chapel, Maryland. Call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.