With around 900,000 Americans affected, ulcerative colitis is even more common than Crohn’s disease, the other major inflammatory bowel disease. Left unchecked, this chronic condition can drastically affect your quality of life and even lead to life-threatening complications. At Gastro90210, with locations in the Century City neighborhood of Los Angeles and Garden Grove, California, Jonathan Pourmorady, MD, provides a comprehensive diagnosis and state-of-the-art care to help get this condition under control for good. Call either office or schedule an appointment online today to learn more.
Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation and ulcers in the lining of your digestive tract. This disease is chronic in nature and tends to come and go throughout your life if you suffer from it.
Much like the other major inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, it's not currently known what causes some people to develop ulcerative colitis. While theories include problems with an individual’s immune system or genetic heredity, many people with ulcerative colitis don’t have a family history of the disease.
Most people who develop the condition do so before they turn 30, though the disease can develop at any age. White people tend to have the highest risk of developing the disease out of any race.
The type of symptoms you may experience can greatly range based on the location and severity of your disease. Some of the most common symptoms include:
Without treatment, ulcerative colitis can lead to numerous severe symptoms and conditions, such as a perforated colon, an increased risk of colon cancer, liver disease, dehydration, osteoporosis, an increased risk of blood clots, and severe bleeding.
Prior to treatment, Dr. Pourmorady will examine your lower intestines using a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy. This allows your provider to identify signs of inflammation and rule out other diseases.
Once Dr. Pourmorady diagnoses the location and extent of your disease, he usually prescribes one or several of the following treatment options:
For some patients, anti-inflammatory drugs can help control the disease, reducing inflammation and associated symptoms. Medication is the first and least invasive approach to treatment.
Immunosuppressant drugs can also help with inflammation by suppressing your body’s natural immune system response. These drugs can leave you vulnerable to other illnesses, so your provider carefully explains the risks versus the expected results.
For severe cases of ulcerative colitis, the only effective treatment option might be a surgical procedure to remove part or all of the colon and rectum, called a proctocolectomy. In a majority of cases, Dr. Pourmorady can avoid the use of a colostomy bag by creating a pouch within your intestines, which they connect to your anus.
No matter how severe your ulcerative colitis or what kind of treatment you receive, Dr. Pourmorady will want to perform regular checkups to monitor your condition and ensure there are no signs of colon cancer.
If you suffer from ulcerative colitis and need help getting it under control, Dr. Pourmorady at Gastro90210 is here to provide the highest level of care and support. Call either office or schedule an appointment online today.