Ulcerative colitis treatment depends on the severity of the condition. For mild cases, individuals are able to control the disease through diet and stress reduction actions. For people whose colitis is more severe or becomes at risk for developing colon cancer, medications, which may include immunosuppressants, anti-inflammatory medications, steroids, and antibiotics, and/or surgery are indicated.
Up to about half the patients who have ulcerative colitis may need to have surgery at some point in their lives in order to cure the disease. After having a discussion with their physician, some patients need to have surgery for their ulcerative colitis to redue their risk of colon cancer.
Mild symptoms of colitis often are intermittent and respond favorably to dietary changes, steroidal medications, antibiotics, suppositories, enemas, and aminosalicylates, which help to reduce inflammation and keep the disease in remission. People with mild ulcerative colitis often have periods of active flare ups and then periods of remission. Remission periods may last for several months or years.
In addition to using steroids and aminosalicylates, individuals who have severe symptoms benefit from other colitis treatment methods. These include medicines such as immunomodulators or cyclosporone that help to suppress the immune system and reduce or prevent inflammation. Biologics are also used in severe ulcerative colitis cases to also help reduce inflammation in the colon.
As a final resort, surgery is sometimes necessary in very severe cases of ulcerative colitis. A ruptured colon, a toxic megacolon, extensive bleeding, and a high risk for cancer are all reasons that surgery for ulcerative colitis may be indicated. Surgery involves removing the entire colon (large intestine). When the rectum is also removed the procedure is called a proctocolectomy.
There are colitis surgical treatment options that provide individuals with freedom, without having to have a stoma or ostomy. These options, which include The BCIR or Barnett Continent Intestinal Reservoir, enable patients to have control over their waste elimination. Patients are able to be physically active, and can bike, play golf, and swim as they always have done.
Because there are a number of colitis treatment options, patients with active ulcerative colitis disease are urged to speak to their physician, gastroenterologist or ileostomy specialist to discuss the best course of action to control or cure their disease, while providing for a high quality of life. Surgical treatment of ulcerative colitis requires a careful analysis of treatment options between physician, surgeon, and patient. However, Ulcerative colitis surgery helps many people have more control of their bowel movements and their life.