Despite being a life-long disease that requires daily management, ulcerative colitis (UC) is generally not life-threatening. Most people with the condition live the same number of years as their peers without UC.
Ulcerative colitis occurs when your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks your intestines. The result is sores and inflammation in your colon, leading to:
People with UC live as long as people without UC. In fact, a Danish study that followed nearly 1,200 patients over 35 years found only 25 of the patients’ deaths were due to complications from UC, and most of those deaths resulted from surgical complications. The study followed patients from 1962 until 1997. During the time, the median age of death for men was 70 and women was 74. Patients who were diagnosed with UC over the age of 50 or who had extensive colitis also had greater mortality rates.
While UC is a condition that requires symptom management, there’s no reason you can’t expect to lead a long, active life.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for ulcerative colitis. Patients manage the disease using medications and oftentimes surgery. For example, patients with severe cases sometimes chose to have their colons removed as a way to manage symptoms. These patients must have an alternative method to remove waste from their bodies. Options include a:
If you’d like to learn more about any of these options, contact Dr. Don Schiler’s office for a consultation. Dr. Schiller is an expert in ileostomies and has helped thousands of patients manage their conditions using cutting-edge surgical options like the Barnett Continent Intestinal Reservoir (BCIR).