Ulcerative Colitis Specialist

Medical Associates of Manhattan is a leading provider of advanced treatments for Ulcerative Colitis, helping patients on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and throughout New York City get the care they need to manage their symptoms and enjoy optimal health and wellness.

Ulcerative Colitis Q & A

Medical Associates Of Manhattan

What is ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is one of two major forms of inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD (the second major form is Crohn's disease). Ulcerative colitis causes ulcers, or sores, in the lining of the colon and the rectum, and without proper management, it can cause serious medical problems like internal bleeding which can become life-threatening.

What symptoms does ulcerative colitis cause?

Ulcerative colitis can cause a wide array of symptoms, including:

  • cramps

  • diarrhea

  • bloody stools

  • bleeding from the rectum

  • pain in the rectum

  • increased need to move the bowels

  • unintentional weight loss

  • fatigue

The type of symptoms can vary based on which portion of the colon is affected and the severity of the disease. Ulcerative colitis can increase the risk of developing colon cancer, and it can also increase the risk of developing a perforation, or hole, in your colon, which can cause life-threatening complications.

What causes ulcerative colitis?

The underlying cause of ulcerative colitis is not completely understood, but research indicates the condition may develop when the immune system reacts abnormally, sending out agents that attack healthy colon tissue. Ulcerative colitis occurs more commonly among people with a family history of the disease, and some research has indicated a possible link between ulcerative colitis and the acne drug isotretinoin, although to date, results are inconclusive.

How is ulcerative colitis diagnosed?

Ulcerative colitis is typically diagnosed with a colonoscopy to extract tiny samples of tissue (biopsies) for evaluation under a microscope. Your symptoms and risk factors may also help lead to a diagnosis.

What treatments are available for ulcerative colitis?

In most cases, ulcerative colitis can be successfully managed with medications, including drugs to control inflammation or mediate the immune system responses. Antibiotics, pain medications and anti-diarrhea medications may also be prescribed. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

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