Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease that affects the inner lining of the large intestine (the colon) and rectum, causing the tissue to become inflamed and irritated, leading to sores or ulcers. These ulcers tend to be long-lasting and may cause uncomfortable symptoms. It also increases the risk of developing colon cancer.
Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is part of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) group of diseases that includes Crohn’s disease, but Crohn’s can attack anywhere in the digestive system, not just the colon. It is important to note that IBD is not the same as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Left untreated, UC can damage the colon to a degree that the colon must be removed. However, if properly diagnosed, UC has multiple levels of treatment options, and patients receive education about avoiding recurring bouts of UC and how to stay healthy. Patients with UC who receive proper medical care may suffer recurring bouts of symptoms, but they are generally able to have normal life function and life expectancy.
Avoiding surgery and providing timely treatment to calm inflammation, heal ulcers and reduce recurring symptoms is the goal for our gastroenterology specialists.