Ulcerative Colitis

Gastroenterology located in St. Clair Shores and Macomb, MI
Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitis services offered in St. Clair Shores and Macomb, MI

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic gastrointestinal (GI) disease that causes inflammation and ulcerations in the large intestine. There’s no cure for UC, but there are numerous treatment options that help control symptoms. The expert gastroenterology team at G.I. Medicine Associates, P.C. specializes in diagnosing and treating UC at their offices in St. Clair Shores and Macomb, Michigan. Call the office to schedule an appointment.

Ulcerative Colitis Q&A

What is ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the large intestine, the last part of your digestive tract. The condition causes inflammation, swelling, and ulcers on the innermost lining of the large intestine.

Researchers are still investigating the underlying cause of UC, but theorize the inflammation occurs because of an overreaction of the immune system. Usually, your immune system protects you from germs and toxins that make you sick by attacking the foreign invaders.

In people with UC, the immune system attacks the lining of the GI tract, causing inflammation and damage.

What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?

UC symptoms vary in type and severity. Most people with UC have mild symptoms.

Common symptoms of UC include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Having the constant urge to have a bowel movement — tenesmus
  • Bowel urgency

With UC, you may have periods of severe symptoms (active disease), mild symptoms, or no symptoms at all (remission).

You can go months or even years without having any UC symptoms.

What tests do I need to diagnose ulcerative colitis?

Before running any specific tests, the team at G.I. Medicine Associates, P.C. performs a thorough history and physical when you come in with complaints of abdominal pain and diarrhea.

They review your symptoms, medical history, and family history, and perform a physical exam. After gathering this initial information, they determine what further testing you need to confirm or rule out a diagnosis.

Testing might include blood work, stool test, or imaging test. If the team suspects you have ulcerative colitis and want to determine the severity of your disease, they perform a colonoscopy to evaluate your large intestine.

What are the treatments for ulcerative colitis?

The team at G.I. Medicine Associates, P.C., individualizes treatment for UC based on the severity of symptoms and disease. Treatment for UC may include:

  • Medications to reduce inflammation
  • Biologics to reduce the immune response
  • Diet modifications
  • Nutritional supplements

G.I. Medicine Associates, P.C. provides infusion services for the administration of biologics at their office for patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis.

When medications fail to relieve UC symptoms, the team may recommend surgery to remove the large intestine, including the colon and rectum. The surgeons create a new way for your body to store and eliminate stool.

For expert care for your ulcerative colitis from a highly skilled and knowledgeable team, call G.I. Medicine Associates, P.C., to schedule an appointment.