Ulcerative Colitis Specialist

Fifth Avenue GI

Gastroenterologists located in Upper East Side, New York, NY

Ulcerative colitis is a debilitating condition that causes intense abdominal pain and discomfort. There are many treatment options available to treat the condition that will allow you to live a full and active life free of the uncomfortable symptoms. If you live in or near Upper East Side or East Harlem, New York, Call or click to schedule an examination at Fifth Avenue GI today. The medical staff looks forward to meeting you!

Ulcerative Colitis Q & A

What causes ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is often hereditary. If others in your family have this or other diseases that affect the digestive tract, you are also at a higher risk.

While the actual cause of the condition isn't known, many believe it to be an allergic response to various types of bacteria or food.

Unlike Crohn's that only affects the digestive tract in patches, ulcerative colitis is continuous and affects only the large intestine or colon.

The lesions and inflammation associated with the condition can appear anywhere in the colon but are typically present in the area of the sigmoid colon. The sigmoid colon is the section closest to the rectum.

What are its symptoms?

Abdominal cramping and loose stool typically characterize ulcerative colitis, but several other symptoms are used to diagnose the condition. They include:

  • Bloody stools
  • Extreme fatigue
  • An inability to control bowel movements
  • A sudden urge to have a bowel movement
  • Anemia caused by excessive amounts of blood in the stool
  • Little to no appetite

Abdominal cramping and diarrhea are often the first symptoms to be experienced. Because these two symptoms correlate with multiple health conditions, most doctors overlook the possibility of ulcerative colitis. Over time, the other symptoms gradually appear, which indicates gastrointestinal distress.

Can it be cured?

There's no known cure for ulcerative colitis. It's considered to be a chronic health condition that requires long-term treatment.

Although there's no cure available, lifestyle changes and behavioral modifications, such as reducing stress levels and eating a balanced diet, control the symptoms with incredible efficiency.

Because the condition is chronic, years of ulcers and lesions can lead to scar tissue and other types of damage to the lining of the colon. When this occurs, surgery is recommended to remove the damaged areas, allowing the colon and other sections of the gastrointestinal tract to function more efficiently.