How Is Ulcerative Colitis Treated?
Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis depends on the severity of the condition. Most patients are treated with proper diet according to symptoms that are presented by the patient, as well as psychotherapy and drugs. Immuno-suppressants, anti-inflammatories and corticosteroids are the chosen drugs. This will get control symptoms.
More serious cases may need surgery, which is the only cure for ulcerative colitis.
Ulcerative colitis is a disease that can greatly affect a patient’s quality of life which is the reason for including psychotherapy as part of the treatment. Relapses are often preceded by periods of stress. Therefore, if we can control it, the prognosis is better.
Treatment of ulcerative colitis will follow the symptoms and nutritional status presented by the patient. The severity and extent of disease determine if treatment is outpatient or inpatient.
Ulcerative colitis can lead to complications such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, weight loss and anemia due to ulcer bleeding. Other complications of this disease are inflammatory bowel perforation. In this case, it is necessary for an emergency surgery because the intestinal contents can leak into the abdominal cavity and triggers peritonitis or abscess. Other complications can occur in other organs such as liver, kidneys and eyes.
The most important complication that can occur in a patient with ulcerative colitis is bowel cancer. It is a complication that arises from the adaptation of the intestinal mucosal cells to inflammation and ulceration. This process is called dysplasia, and cancer may develop after 10 years following diagnosis. The risk of cancer is higher for those patients with whom ulcerative colitis affects the entire colon or most of its length.
For adequate diagnosis, an endoscopy and intestinal biopsy are required.
Because the symptoms that occur during flare ups of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD: Crohn’s & colitis) may mask the symptoms of cancer, it is necessary to perform an intestinal endoscopy with biopsy every 1-2 years in search of lesions or changes in the intestinal mucosa.
When Should You Seek Medical Care
These are some signs that will cause you to consult your doctor:
- Any change in bowel movement that persists over days (diarrhea, constipation).
- If you are in treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and lose blood in the stool or your stools are black.
- Presence of mucus or pus in your stool
- Intense pain or bloating, signs of dehydration: thirst, dry mouth, anxiety, decrease or absence of urine
It is important to call the emergency services if you have any of these symptoms:
- Abdominal pain during bowel movements with blood loss
- Severe abdominal pain that does not improve even after defecating. Although you’ve been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), if the pain persists, you should contact your doctor immediately.
- Signs of dehydration (dry skin and mucous membranes, thirst)
Long Distance Telephone Appointments
If you are not local to the clinic, Michelle Honda PhD Holistic Doctor can conduct telephone appointments with you very easily. So if you are anywhere in North America, you can now successfully receive high end, specialized help for your Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. If you are local to the clinic in Hamilton, Toronto or Mississauga Ontario – by all means come in for your appointment. If not, telephone appointments are very popular and convenient.