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Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that occurs primarily in the colon, or large intestine. It’s characterized by the inflammation and ulceration (erosions) of the innermost lining of the colon, most commonly affecting the left side of the colon and the rectum.
WakeMed’s gastroenterologists understand the intricacies of this complex and chronic condition, and we have access to the latest therapies to provide customized treatment for each patient.
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis can vary, depending on whether it’s affecting the entire colon or if it’s limited to the rectum. Symptoms can include:
Because ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition, symptoms can come and go over the course of a patient’s life. Some patients experience months or years of remission in between flare ups.
Our experts are experienced in accurately diagnosing ulcerative colitis, which can also present itself like other inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) including Crohn’s disease , as well as irritiable bowel syndrome (IBS). We first take a full medical history and perform a physical examination. Diagnostic tests to confirm ulcerative colitis may include:
The goal of treatment is to control inflammation and relieve symptoms of pain, diarrhea and rectal bleeding.
Medications can not only relieve symptoms, but can also promote the healing of damaged tissue, postpone surgery, keep the disease from flaring up and even put it in remission.
In severe cases, or when a patient doesn’t respond to medication, surgery may be necessary to remove part or all of the colon. At WakeMed, ulcerative colitis patients can have minimally invasive, laparoscopic-assisted surgeries. This allows a patient to have less pain and discomfort, smaller incision, quicker recovery and fewer complications. Learn more about laparoscopic colorectal surgery.
Since ulcerative colitis can reduce the body's ability to absorb necessary nutrients, talking to a nutritionist can also be helpful. We offer our patients nutrition counseling to help them manage their conditions and make smart nutritional choices.
If you or someone you care for is experiencing symptoms that concern you, we encourage you to make an appointment [MG6] with one of WakeMed Cary Hospital's experienced gastroenterologists.
3000 New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27610