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Ulcerative Colitis Specialist

Advanced Endoscopy Center

Gastroenterology located in St. Louis, MO

Though ulcerative colitis can appear at any age, you may be surprised to learn that most people are diagnosed between the ages of 15-30. The experienced team at Advanced Endoscopy Center in St. Louis, Missouri, has helped many people manage their symptoms and keep the disease in remission. When necessary, they have exceptional experience curing the disease with surgery. If you suffer from abdominal pain and diarrhea, don’t wait to get help. Without treatment, ulcerative colitis can cause complications. To schedule an appointment, call the office or use the online booking feature.

Ulcerative Colitis Q & A

What is ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic (long-lasting) inflammatory bowel disease. The condition develops when your immune system attacks the tissues lining your rectum and colon, causing inflammation and ulcers. Though ulcerative colitis usually begins in the rectum and gradually spreads into the colon, it can also affect the entire colon.

What symptoms develop if I have ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis symptoms typically develop gradually, but they can also appear suddenly. Once you have symptoms, the disease goes through flare-ups, followed by periods of remission when you don’t have symptoms.

During flare-ups, you experience symptoms such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Blood in your stools
  • Constant urge to have a bowel movement
  • Bowel movements during the night
  • Loss of bowel control
  • Rectal pain
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Fever
  • Fatigue

Over the course of your flare-ups, your symptoms can range from mild to severe.

Does ulcerative colitis cause complications?

Ulcerative colitis increases your risk of many possible problems, including symptoms that develop outside your colon and rectum.

The complications of ulcerative colitis include:

  • Higher risk for colon cancer
  • Joint inflammation
  • Skin rashes
  • Mouth sores
  • Eye inflammation
  • Liver disease
  • Bile duct disease
  • Anemia

When you have ulcerative colitis, it’s important to have regular colon cancer screenings. After evaluating your disease, the team at Advanced Endoscopy Center can recommend how often you should schedule screenings.

How is ulcerative colitis treated?

The first line of treatment for ulcerative colitis includes dietary changes and medications. Several types of medications are available that relieve your symptoms and put your ulcerative colitis into remission. 

These medications work in different ways. For example, some suppress your immune system, while others reduce inflammation.

When medical treatment doesn’t improve your symptoms, your provider at Advanced Endoscopy Center talks with you about surgery. Surgery cures ulcerative colitis by removing either the colon alone or the rectum and colon.

After the colon is removed, your provider may be able to create an internal pouch that gives you the ability to have normal bowel movements. However, some people may need to have the small intestine drain to a pouch that’s outside your body.

If you have ongoing problems with abdominal pain and diarrhea, call Advanced Endoscopy Center or schedule an appointment online.