What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease in which you experience many uncomfortable symptoms, such as:
- Abdominal pain and cramping, often in the left side
- Chronic diarrhea
- Blood in your stool
- Mucus in your stool
- Unexpected weight loss
- Chronic fatigue
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis often come and go. You might experience long periods of remission before suffering painful bouts of ulcerative colitis, but it doesn’t typically go away permanently without treatment.
How are ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease different?
Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are very similar in terms of symptoms, but there are a few key differences between the two conditions.
Where it occurs
Ulcerative colitis occurs in your colon, while Crohn's disease can occur anywhere from your mouth to your anus.
The type of inflammation
Ulcerative Colitis generally causes inflammation in your entire colon, whereas Crohn's Disease often affects the end of the small intestine and the beginning of the colon. Crohn’s Disease may also affect the entire colon, rectum, and anus.
Where it hurts
While Ulcerative Colitis pain is typically on the left side of your abdomen, Crohn's disease pain is usually located in the central abdomen.
The best way to determine which of the two conditions you're dealing with is a consultation with Dr. Araghizadeh. He will review and/or perform the appropriate diagnostic tests which may include a colonoscopy to make an accurate diagnosis for prompt treatment.
How is ulcerative colitis treated?
Ulcerative colitis treatment depends on disease severity. For most patients with Ulcerative Colitis, medications like 5-aminosalicylic acid, immunomodulators, biologics, or corticosteroids are effective. But, some patients with Ulcerative Colitis will eventually need surgery.
Surgical options vary and are individualized for every patient. Proctocolectomy with ileal pouch (J-Pouch) formation, in which Dr. Araghizadeh removes your colon and rectum, is the most common operation for ulcerative colitis. Usually, Dr. Araghizadeh performs an ileal pouch anal anastomosis (J-Pouch) to create a new internal pouch for stool storage and elimination. This avoids a permanent external ileostomy bag.
Dr. Araghizadeh is a minimally invasive colon and rectal surgery specialist who creates customized solutions for patients with Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s disease, and other types of colorectal disorders. He’s ready to help you now, so use the online scheduler or call the office to arrange your consultation today.