Get answers to your Inflammatory Bowel Disease questions.
Inflammatory bowel disease - ulcerative colitis; IBD - ulcerative colitis
The goals of treatment are to:
Hospitalization is often needed for severe attacks. Your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids to reduce inflammation. You may be given nutrients through a vein (intravenous line).
DIET AND NUTRITION
Certain types of foods may worsen diarrhea and gas symptoms, especially during times of active disease. Diet suggestions include:
You may feel worried, embarrassed, or even sad or depresed about having a bowel accident. Other stressful events in your life, such as moving, or losing a job or a loved one can cause digestive problems.
Ask your doctor or nurse for tips on your to manage your stress.
Medications that may be used to decrease the number of attacks include:
Surgery to remove the colon will cure ulcerative colitis and removes the threat of colon cancer. Surgery is usually recommended for patients who have:
Most of the time, the entire colon, including the rectum, is removed. Afterwards, patients may need a surgical opening in the abdominal wall (ileostomy), or a procedure that connects the small intestine to the anus to help the patient gain more normal bowel function.
Social support can often help with the stress of dealing with illness, and support group members may also have useful tips for finding the best treatment and coping with the condition.
For more information, visit the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) web site at
About half of patients with ulcerative colitis have mild symptoms. Patients with more severe ulcerative colitis tend to respond less well to medications.
Permanent and complete control of symptoms with medications is unusual. Cure is only possible through complete removal of the large intestine.
The risk of colon cancer increases in each decade after ulcerative colitis is diagnosed.
Repeated swelling (inflammation) leads to thickening of the intestinal wall and rectum with scar tissue. Death of colon tissue or severe infection (sepsis) may occur with severe disease.
Call your health care provider if:
Sands BE, Siegel CA. Crohn's disease. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt, LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2010:chap 111.
Moyer MS. Chronic ulcerative colitis in childhood. J Pediatr. 2006;148:325.
Fry RD, Mahmoud N, Maron DJ, Ross HM, Rombeau J. Colon and rectum. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 50.
Rutgeerts P, Vermeire S, Van Assche G. Biological therapies for inflammatory bowel diseases. Gastroenterology. 2009;136(4):1182-1197.
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