Ulcerative Colitis in Ocean Springs, MS
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What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is a part of a larger set of conditions called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This condition causes uncomfortable inflammation and ulcerations within your gastrointestinal (GI) system, most often the large intestine. Ulcerative colitis differs from Crohn's disease (the alternate type of IBD) because it is limited to one's colon. Crohn's disease, on the other hand, is almost always found at the end of the small bowel and the beginning of one's colon but has been known to affect any part of the intestinal system from the anus to the mouth. Additionally, ulcerative colitis only involves the colon's inner lining, while Crohn’s disease might impact the whole of the intestinal wall.
Patients diagnosed with ulcerative colitis often experience uncomfortable GI symptoms that interfere with their everyday lives. At Digestive Health Center, our board-certified gastrointestinal specialists regularly diagnose and provide treatment for ulcerative colitis and create working relationships with individuals to relieve the symptoms it causes. To find treatment for ulcerative colitis in Ocean Springs, MS, please contact a nearby practice today to request a consultation.
Are there multiple types of ulcerative colitis?
There are several variations of ulcerative colitis, often classified by location:
Ulcerative proctitis: The swelling of the colon is isolated to one's rectum and is usually the least severe variety of ulcerative colitis. A tell-tale sign of ulcerative proctitis is bleeding from the rectum.
Left-sided colitis: Inflammation is more widespread through more of the colon and might involve areas beyond the rectum but is confined to all or a portion of the sigmoid and descending colon. It usually causes concerning symptoms, some of which could include diarrhea containing blood and unintended weight loss.
Pancolitis: This condition is also known as extensive colitis and may involve the entirety of the colon. Symptoms may include severe bloody diarrhea, extreme abdominal pain, and tiredness.
Acute severe ulcerative colitis: This is a rare form of ulcerative colitis which affects the entire colon. Its symptoms could include extreme pain and the inability to consume food. The condition typically demands hospitalization and is known to have a higher chance of surgery.
What causes ulcerative colitis?
The specific cause of ulcerative colitis continues to be a mystery. However, we know some variables which appear to increase the risk of ulcerative colitis and its related symptoms.
- Genetics: One may inherit genetic material from one's parents that may elevate your risk of developing ulcerative colitis.
- Immune system: Internal bacteria or viruses may initiate the onset of ulcerative colitis. When a virus or bacteria becomes present in the digestive tract, the body calls upon your immune system to engage the virus or bacteria. When this takes place, the body deploys white blood cells to the colon, where they will then attack non-problematic tissue and cells. As a result, your colon, or large intestine, becomes inflamed.
What are the risk factors for ulcerative colitis?
A few of the risk factors associated with ulcerative colitis include:
- Race or ethnicity: Caucasians and people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent appear to be at an elevated likelihood of developing ulcerative colitis; however, the condition can impact anyone.
- Family history: If a family member lives with ulcerative colitis, you have an increased risk of developing this disease.
- Age: Ulcerative colitis most often presents before 30 years of age.
What are the typical symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
Most symptoms common to ulcerative colitis develop gradually and can vary from mild to severe. Symptoms of ulcerative colitis typically include:
- Sores in the mouth
- Normal menstrual cycle disruption
- Drainage or pain near or around the anus
- Blood in the stool
- Pain in the rectum
- Cramps in the stomach
- Abdominal pain
- Sudden loss of weight
- Bloody diarrhea with pus
If you ever notice the presence of bloody stool, please contact your provider or another GI specialist in Ocean Springs, MS at once. A gastroenterologist should be seen if you suffer from any of the above symptoms or a combination of symptoms on an ongoing basis. The board-certified gastroenterologists at Digestive Health Center offer skilled treatment for ulcerative colitis and can assist in treating and managing these concerns.
How is ulcerative colitis treated?
The primary goal of ulcerative colitis treatment at Digestive Health Center is to minimize the swelling that causes your symptoms and achieve remission. Continuing treatment includes but is not limited to regular cancer screenings, as having ulcerative colitis puts you at greater risk for developing colon cancer. The main components of ulcerative colitis treatments are listed below:
Antibiotics: Antibiotics can help eliminate bacteria known to cause the unusual immune system response that causes inflammation. These are not a primary form of therapy but could be used in conjunction with alternate treatments.
Anti-inflammatory drugs: Anti-inflammatory medicines used to manage ulcerative colitis are oral 5-aminosalicylates and corticosteroids. Corticosteroids assist in reducing inflammation in your body and may be recommended in conjunction with immune system suppressants. Oral 5-aminosalicylates are also helpful in the reduction of swelling in the body.
Additional supplements and medications might be suggested to control and manage ulcerative colitis difficulties. These could include:
- Calcium and vitamin D supplementation
- Iron supplementation
- Vitamin B-12 shots
Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: This therapy addresses the body’s abnormal immune reaction to bacteria and viruses. The immunosuppressant meds your Ocean Springs, MS gastroenterologist could prescribe include:
Diet and Nutrition: Your GI specialist may recommend a unique nutrition plan to assist in the relief of symptoms and encourage remission.
Surgery: In severe situations, surgical intervention might be indicated to remove a portion of, or the whole, rectum or colon.
Find help for ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis can impact your general comfort and digestive health. With specialized treatment, however, you can control the condition and enhance your quality of life. Regardless of whether you are experiencing the initial symptoms or managing ulcerative colitis issues after remission, the GI specialists at Digestive Health Center can provide personalized treatment choices to help you find a reprieve. To meet with a provider who offers treatment for ulcerative colitis in Ocean Springs, MS, reach out to a local team today.
Dr McNair has treated me since 1983. My Mother n law was seriously ill in SRH. Dr McNair came in ICU and saved her life. That year 1983 I made an appt to be one of his patients. He had not been on the Coast very long at all. But took me as new patient…I still am a patient of Dr A McNair. He’s Brilliant. I love the whole team❤️ May 1, 2023
He is the bomb! I LOVED him when I was sick. And he is very entertaining too.
Great Doctor walked in talking to my dad as if he'd known him all his life and then he mentioned why he does what he does ...the Lord! This is the Doctor that will do my Dads procedure....Wonderful man.
I am definitely appreciative & thankful for Dr. Angela Pressley Wallace. She is very easy to work with, honest, understanding, very knowledgeable about her career being a physician, cares for her patients, terrific leader, kind hearted, genuine. One of the best & top Gastroenterologist Physicians in the Gulfport, MS area. I highly recommend Dr. Angela Pressley Wallace❗️You will not be disappointed.
When I need care I can depend on the whole staff to be caring, efficient and respectful. I would recommend this group of doctors, nurses and give them the highest rating.