Ulcerative Colitis in Tulsa, OK
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What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is a part of a larger group of conditions known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This condition creates uncomfortable swelling and ulcerations inside your intestinal tract, usually the large intestine. Ulcerative colitis is different from Crohn's disease (another form of IBD), as it is usually restricted only to the colon. Crohn's disease is most commonly experienced at the end of the small intestine and beginning of one's colon but can potentially affect any portion of the gastrointestinal tract at any point between the anus to the mouth. Additionally, ulcerative colitis only affects the inner lining of the colon, whereas Crohn’s disease might affect the entire intestinal wall.
Those who have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis often experience painful GI symptoms that interfere with their everyday lives. At Adult Gastroenterology Associates, our board-certified GI providers routinely identify and treat ulcerative colitis. If you are seeking relief from your ulcerative colitis symptoms in Tulsa, OK, please request a consultation as soon as possible.
Are there different types of ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is categorized into different forms, that are often organized by anatomy:
Ulcerative proctitis: The inflammation of the colon is isolated to the rectum and is often the mildest type of ulcerative colitis. A tell-tale sign of having ulcerative proctitis is rectal bleeding.
Left-sided colitis: Swelling spreads throughout the colon and can affect more than the rectum, but is restricted to all or a portion of the sigmoid and descending colon. This form often causes uncomfortable symptoms, including bloody diarrhea and unintended weight loss.
Pancolitis: This type of ulcerative colitis is also known as extensive colitis and could affect the entire colon. Symptoms can include serious bloody diarrhea, extreme abdominal pain, and fatigue.
Acute severe ulcerative colitis: This is a less common form of ulcerative colitis, which affects the whole of the colon. Its symptoms could include extreme pain and the inability to consume food. This condition usually requires hospitalization and comes with a higher chance of surgery.
What is the cause of ulcerative colitis?
The cause of ulcerative colitis remains unknown. However, there are certain factors that increase your chances of developing ulcerative colitis..
- Genetics: You could inherit genetic material from your parent or parents that increases your risk of being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.
- Immune system: Internal bacteria or viruses can sometimes initiate the development of ulcerative colitis. When a virus or bacteria enters one's digestive tract, your body activates your immune system to fight the bacteria or virus. Anytime this happens, the body deploys white blood cells to the colon where those cells end up attacking healthy tissue and cells. As a result, your colon or large intestine becomes inflamed.
Are there risk factors for ulcerative colitis?
Some of the risk factors related to ulcerative colitis include:
- Age: Ulcerative colitis often presents before the age of 30.
- Family history: If a member of your family has ulcerative colitis, you may have an increased likelihood of suffering from the disease.
- Race or ethnicity: Caucasians and people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent are at an increased risk of suffering from ulcerative colitis. However, the condition can affect any race or ethnicity.
What are some typical symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
Most symptoms of ulcerative colitis develop slowly and can vary from mild to severe. Symptoms of ulcerative colitis commonly include:
- Blood in the stool
- Abdominal pain
- Rectal pain
- Drainage or pain near or around the anus
- Loss of normal menstrual cycle
- Cramps in the stomach
- Bloody Diarrhea with pus
- Sores in the mouth
- Sudden loss of weight
If you ever notice blood in your stool, please contact a provider in Tulsa, OK immediately. A GI specialist should be seen anytime you experience any of the symptoms listed above, or a combination of symptoms, on a regular basis. The board-certified gastroenterologists at all Adult Gastroenterology Associates locations offer specialized treatment for ulcerative colitis and can assist with the management of these symptoms.
How do you treat ulcerative colitis?
At Adult Gastroenterology Associates, our goal is to minimize the swelling that brings on your symptoms and subsequently achieve remission of the condition. You could also be screened for cancer, as ulcerative colitis increases your risk of developing colon cancer. The treatments for ulcerative colitis can include:
Antibiotics: Antibiotics can help destroy the bacteria known to cause the unusual immune system response that causes inflammation. Antibiotics are typically used in coordination with additional treatments.
Anti-inflammatory drugs: Anti-inflammatory medications used to manage ulcerative colitis are oral 5-aminosalicylates and corticosteroids. Corticosteroids help decrease swelling in the body and can be recommended along with immune system suppressors. Oral 5-aminosalicylates are also useful in the reduction of swelling in your body.
Additional medications and supplements could be recommended to help ulcerative colitis difficulties. These can include:
- Vitamin D and calcium supplementation
- Vitamin B-12 shots
- Iron supplements
Long-term anti-inflammatory treatments: This type of treatment addresses our body’s abnormal immune system reaction to bacteria and viruses. The immunosuppressant drugs your Tulsa, OK GI provider could prescribe are:
Diet and Nutrition: Your GI provider may suggest a unique diet to help reduce symptoms and initiate remission.
Surgery: In extreme circumstances, surgery could be required to take out a part of, or the complete, colon or rectum.
Ulcerative Colitis FAQs
What is the necessary prep for hemorrhoid banding?
In many cases, there is nothing you will need to do ahead of your procedure. Your gastroenterologist will likely discuss any prescriptions and/or supplements you use, so keep a list atop of your mind. Following your hemorrhoid banding procedure, it’s important to have a trusted friend or family member available to help with daily tasks to reduce the risk of putting strain on your GI system. Additionally, it’s vital to follow any pre- or post-op guidelines given to you by your Adult Gastroenterology Associates team.
Is hemorrhoid banding safe?
Just like any other procedure, there’s a minute chance of risk associated with hemorrhoid banding, such as recurring hemorrhoids, bleeding, and infection. Bear in mind, though, our doctors work diligently to help avoid these risks. We will work with you to put you on the track of success throughout your recovery and beyond.
Can I work after my hemorrhoid banding?
Generally, you can go back to work after your hemorrhoid banding procedure. Our gastroenterologists advise that you do not perform manual labor or strenuous activity on the day of your procedure, but those with an office job usually return to work after the treatment.
Will hemorrhoid banding cause a lot of discomfort?
Your provider’s main objective is to keep you as relaxed as possible, no matter the reason for your visit. We will use a numbing agent to reduce pain; however, you might still feel a bit of discomfort during your hemorrhoid banding procedure.
Get treatment for ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis can affect your daily life and digestive well-being. With specialized care, however, you can manage the condition and better your quality of life. Whether you are just beginning to experience symptoms or are dealing with ulcerative colitis issues after remission, the GI providers at an Adult Gastroenterology Associates location near you can provide you with personalized treatment options to help you find relief. To find a provider who offers treatment for ulcerative colitis in Tulsa, OK, please contact our team to request a consultation today.
I was a few minutes late but did not get stuck in the waiting room forever, I was in a room waiting after going back for a while longer BUT they had a touch screen full of simple but helpful knowledge about your gastrointestinal insides so the wait was useful. Everyone was well mannered and I feel like I'll get results from going here before too long!
Everything went very well. No issues whatsoever. Friendly efficient staff. I was in and gone before I knew it. It was perfect.
Dr Conkling found a large advanced polyp in my intestines that nobody else had found. He said it would have been colon cancer in 3 years. He saved my life. Dr Conkling is the best in my opinion.
The entire office was amazing. Dr. Clarks bedside manner is great. The entire process was much easier than expected and I believe it was a direct result of he and his staff.
It was a good pleasant visit from the minute I walked in. The Dr and nurses were very nice.