What is Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes direct inflammation of the colon (colitis). This is a chronic condition that can affect any age group – young and old.
The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown. Many theories are postulated including abnormal immune system response, abnormal gut bacteria and environmental factors. Genetic factors are also considered as ulcerative colitis can run in families.
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis are varied and include:
- Abdominal pain
- Rectal bleeding
- Weight loss
Other diseases of the GI tract can also produce similar symptoms, including Crohn’s disease.
Tests & Diagnosis
A variety of tests exist for diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, including labs, X-ray tests and colonoscopy. The best test for you will be determined by your physician. Wilmington Gastroenterology Associates provides full evaluation.and care of inflammatory bowel disease.
A variety or treatments exist for ulcerative colitis. Once you have been diagnosed, your physician will determine your best treatment option depending on your location of disease and severity of disease.
Common treatment options include:
5 ASA – Asacol, Lialda, Apriso – these medications work as anti-inflammatories.
Immunomodulator agents – 6MP, Imuran, Azathioprine – these medications work as immune suppressants.
Biologic treatment – Remicade, Humira, Cimzia – these medications work as immune suppressants. These medications are administered as injections.