Ulcerative Colitis in Hattiesburg, MS
Ready to Consult a GI Physician?Find a Provider
What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is a piece of a more expansive group of conditions called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The condition causes painful inflammation and ulcerations within one's gastrointestinal (GI) system, most often the large intestine. Ulcerative colitis is different from Crohn's disease (the other form of IBD) because it is restricted only to the colon. Crohn's disease, meanwhile, is most commonly found at the end of the small bowel and at the beginning of the colon but can involve any portion of the gastrointestinal system anywhere from the mouth to the anus. In addition, ulcerative colitis involves only the colon's inner lining, whereas Crohn's disease could impact the whole of the bowel wall.
Patients who have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis many times deal with painful gastrointestinal symptoms that interfere with their everyday lives. At Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC, our board-certified GI health providers regularly diagnose and provide treatment for ulcerative colitis and collaborate with people to help provide a reprieve from the symptoms it causes. If you need help with ulcerative colitis in Hattiesburg, MS, we invite you to contact one of our offices as soon as possible.
Are there multiple kinds of ulcerative colitis?
There are a few unique varieties of ulcerative colitis that are typically organized by location:
Ulcerative proctitis: This is usually the least severe type of ulcerative colitis, with inflammation of the colon being confined to the rectum. A commonly recognized indication of ulcerative proctitis is bleeding from the rectum.
Left-sided colitis: Swelling is more widely found throughout the colon and could impact areas beyond the rectum but is limited to all or a portion of the sigmoid and descending colon. This form often results in troubling symptoms, including diarrhea containing blood and unplanned loss of weight.
Pancolitis: This type of ulcerative colitis is also known as extensive colitis and might involve the entirety of the colon. Symptoms may include extreme bloody diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, and tiredness.
Acute severe ulcerative colitis: This is a more unusual type of ulcerative colitis that affects the whole of the colon. Its symptoms could include extreme pain and the inability to eat. This condition usually demands hospitalization and is known to have a much greater likelihood of surgery.
What is the cause of ulcerative colitis?
The specific reason for the development of ulcerative colitis is still unknown. However, we know some factors that consistently heighten the risk of ulcerative colitis and its related challenges.
- Genetics: An individual might inherit genes from one or both of their parents that increase the chance of developing ulcerative colitis.
- Immune system: It is presumed that viruses or internal bacteria could trigger the occurrence of ulcerative colitis. In the event that a virus or bacteria shows up in your digestive tract, the body enlists your immune system to defend against the intruder. Anytime this occurs, the body directs white blood cells to the colon, in which case those cells could attack healthy cells and tissue. As a result, your large intestine can become inflamed.
Are there risk factors for ulcerative colitis?
Some of the complicating factors associated with an elevated risk of ulcerative colitis include:
- Ethnicity or race: Caucasians and people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent appear to be at a higher chance of suffering from ulcerative colitis. However, the condition can affect any race.
- Age: Ulcerative colitis often presents prior to the age of 30.
- Family history: If a relative has ulcerative colitis, you have an increased chance of developing this disease.
What are the typical symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
The majority of symptoms common to ulcerative colitis manifest gradually and can vary from mild to severe. Symptoms of ulcerative colitis commonly include:
- Sudden weight loss
- Pain or drainage around or near the anus
- Sores in the mouth
- Stomach cramps
- Pain in the rectum
- Diarrhea with pus or blood
- Bloody stool
- Loss of normal menstrual cycle
- Pain in the abdomen
If you ever become aware of blood in your stool, we urge you to reach out to your physician or another specialist in Hattiesburg, MS right away. You should see a gastroenterologist should you suffer from any of the above symptoms or a combination of symptoms on a persistent basis. The board-certified gastroenterologists at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC can provide skilled care for ulcerative colitis and can help treat and manage these symptoms.
How is ulcerative colitis treated?
The ultimate objectives of ulcerative colitis treatments at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC are to control the inflammation that instigates your symptoms and then force the disorder into remission. Continuing treatment includes screening for cancer, as having ulcerative colitis positions you at greater risk for a diagnosis of colon cancer. The main aspects of ulcerative colitis treatments are listed below:
Antibiotics: Antibiotics can help destroy bacteria connected with causing the unusual immune system reflex that creates swelling. This is not a mainstay of therapy but might be used in collaboration with additional therapies.
Anti-inflammatory drugs: Corticosteroids and oral 5-aminosalicylates are anti-inflammatory medications commonly used in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. Corticosteroids help decrease swelling in the body and may be recommended in conjunction with immune system suppressants. Oral 5-aminosalicylates can also work to reduce swelling in your body.
Additional medications and supplements might be recommended to control and manage ulcerative colitis symptoms. These may include:
- Shots of vitamin B-12
- Iron supplementation
- Vitamin D and calcium supplements
Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: These treatments help manage the body's abnormal immune response to viruses and bacteria. The immunosuppressant medications your Hattiesburg, MS gastroenterologist might prescribe include:
Diet and Nutrition: Your GI practitioner may recommend a unique diet to help reduce symptoms and induce remission.
Surgery: In severe situations, surgery may be required to excise a part of, or the complete, colon or rectum.
Ulcerative Colitis FAQs
Is it possible to cure ulcerative colitis?
Currently, no cure exists for ulcerative colitis. Medication interventions can help manage the condition and its symptoms but won’t cure it. Medication may also help keep the disease in remission.
Do dietary factors cause ulcerative colitis?
A link between diet and the cause of ulcerative colitis has not been found. However, certain dietary factors may heighten the risk of developing this GI disease. These involve diets low in fiber, fruits, and veggies and high in sugar, refined carbs, and fats.
Who can diagnose and treat ulcerative colitis?
Your symptoms may prompt you to visit your primary care doctor. If your doctor thinks you may have ulcerative colitis, they will likely refer you to a GI specialist, like those at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC. Consulting a physician who specializes in digestive diseases can be advantageous for your health.
Can anything help the disease stay in remission?
If you have obtained disease remission, you likely want to maintain it. Factors to remember while in remission include:
- Stress: Stress can cause your symptoms to recur. Getting proper sleep, regular exercise, and working on stress management might help reduce your chances of symptom recurrence.
- Medications: Should you have pain or fever, you might consider taking acetaminophen (such as Tylenol®) as opposed to NSAIDs (like Motrin® or Advil®), as acetaminophen is less inclined to elicit symptoms. Talk with your doctor for further information.
- Medication change: If you notice your current meds seem to trigger symptoms, please get in touch with our team. We may be able to swap out your medication for something less likely to lead to a flare-up.
Get help for ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis can take a toll on a person's overarching comfort and digestive health. With specialized care, however, you can take charge of the situation and better your quality of life. Whether you are in the midst of the initial symptoms or managing ulcerative colitis flare-ups after remission, the GI specialists at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC can provide you with individualized treatment options to help you find a reprieve. To find a provider who offers care for ulcerative colitis in Hattiesburg, MS, please get in touch with one of our facilities as soon as possible.
I have known him as a super physician for 2-3 years now and i will see him if I have any problem that falls in his area of practice‼️
Very thorough and informative visit. Meeting new doctors to discuss personal health concerns can be intimidating however my experience was pleasant. Highly recommended.
Dr. Sanchez and his office staff were so friendly and professional. Dr Sanchez took lots of time during my appointment to listen to my concerns and ongoing GI Issues, and provided amazing support as well as a combo of prescriptions and supplements to try. So far I have had great results and look forward to my follow up.
Most kind and most thorough. I am very grateful for his kindness and professionalism.
I have been seeing Dr. Buckley for ulcerative colitis since 1997. He's very kind and caring, and also very knowledgeable and professional. I trust him l, and I believe that he is the best doctor I have ever had. The staff at the clinic are friendly and courteous, there is usually little to no waiting, and the building is well maintained and comfortable.