How to Treat Ulcerative Colitis

woman holding her stomach while in pain
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When you’re diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, you will work with a doctor to create a treatment plan specific to your case. It’s important to note that your treatment plan will most likely be modified if you go into an extended remission or if your condition worsens. Your treatment will include inducing remission, treating acute attacks, and extending remissions. Initially, your gastroenterologist in Sandy will recommend medications, and dietary changes are part of your ulcerative colitis treatment plan. In the event that drug therapy doesn’t work, you might need to undergo surgery to eliminate a part or your entire colon.

Medications for Treating Ulcerative Colitis

Majority of drugs used for treating ulcerative colitis or UC function by addressing the inflammation happening in your irritated colon. This will enable your colon’s lining to reduce and heal symptoms, including stomach pain and diarrhea. The following are the most commonly prescribed medications for UC:

  • Corticosteroids. Likewise known as steroids, these are used when the disease is in the active stage.
  • Aminosalicylates. These are used for treating flares and preventing future flares when taken regularly.
  • Immune System Suppressors. Drugs such as these address inflammation in the immune system. They’re mainly used for treating and preventing flares when taken on a regular basis.

For plenty of people with UC, a combination of different medications works better than just one kind of medication. Other medications usually prescribed for treating UC include the following:

  • Antidiarrheal medications
  • Antibiotics
  • Pain medications. You need to take the exact pain meds your doctor prescribed and avoid at all costs ibuprofen, naproxen, and diclofenac, as these pain relievers could make your symptoms worse.
  • Iron supplements. Your doctor might prescribe supplemental iron if you suffer from chronic intestinal bleeding.

When You Might Need Surgery

Ulcerative colitis could usually be resolved through surgery. It is, however, crucial to note that you shouldn’t consider surgery unless medically necessary. That being said, you might need surgery if:

  • Your condition doesn’t improve with medications and dietary changes.
  • You’re experiencing severe complications such as extensive bleeding, a ruptured colon, or toxic colitis.
  • You have dysplasia or abnormal cells in your colon, which increases your risk of developing colon cancer.

Although it’s possible that your surgeon will only remove a part of your colon, there’s also the possibility that you might need to have your rectum and entire colon removed. If this is the case, your surgeon will need to create a different way of eliminating waste.

Dietary Recommendations for Ulcerative Colitis

person holding a small plate with fruitsA couple of dietary changes could help you control your symptoms and lower your overall stress while managing your condition. Generally speaking, doctors recommend that you eat smaller meals more often, drinks tons of water, and avoid vegetable skins, carbonated beverages, nuts, as well as other foods that have very high fiber content.

Ulcerative colitis is mainly a long-term or lifelong disease, but it can be managed with drug therapy and certain lifestyle changes. Figuring out the best treatment plan for you will depend on the severity of your symptoms. If you haven’t already, work with a reputable gastroenterologist in your area to learn the most effective options for you.

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