If you’ve been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis or UC for short, it means the lining of your colon and rectum are inflamed. When you have this condition, you may have periods of remission and flare-ups when you have active symptoms. You can go weeks ― or even years without symptoms.
When symptoms occur, they could include:
•Bloody or pus-laden diarrhea
•Stomach or abdominal pain
•Urgent bowel movements
•Pain when you have a bowel movement
Many newly diagnosed UC patients wonder what the treatment is for their condition. Many wonder if they will have to have surgery. The good news is that many cases of ulcerative colitis can be successfully managed without surgery.
In mild UC cases, patients can manage their symptoms with dietary changes. Certain foods and beverages can lead to a flare in your condition. Because certain foods and drinks can affect you, but another UC patient, it’s helpful to keep a food diary to identify and log your troublemakers.
Some people find that following a low-fiber or low-residue diet can help them visit the bathroom less frequently. Others find that they need to limit dairy products, alcohol, and caffeine, in addition to dried beans and peas, nuts and seeds, and popcorn. Raw fruits and vegetables and spicy foods are also triggers for some people.
If dietary changes don’t relieve your symptoms, your doctor may recommend certain medications. These may include antibiotics, immunosuppressive agents, corticosteroids, biologics and/or sulfa medicines. If you are anemic from bloody diarrhea, you may need to take an iron supplement. Acetaminophen may help for pain, but doctors advise against taking ibuprofen and naproxen sodium as they could worsen your symptoms.
Some of these medicines might help reduce the inflammation in your gut but may also have side effects. You’ll need to work to work with your doctor to find the medication options that work for you.
If dietary changes and medicines don’t help your ulcerative colitis or you develop complications from the disease, your doctor may recommend surgery, which can frequently eliminate UC. This surgery may involve removing your rectum and colon (either all or in part).
The surgical procedures could include The ileoanal J pouch operation, BCIR (Barnett Continent Intestinal Reservoir) – both of which provide your body with a brand new means for you to store and pass your stool without the use of an external device.
If you’re an ulcerative colitis patient who is looking into your surgical options, it’s vital crucial to select an expert ileostomy specialist to not only walk you through your procedure options but also perform the operation with expert experience and guide you through your recovery.
Contact Dr. Don Schiller, who is a BCIR and Kock pouch specialist at The Center for Ileostomy Surgery
at Olympia Medical Center, Los Angeles, California to learn more about your options. Call 323-472-9931 today or send us a message through our online form.