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Ulcerative colitis (also known as inflammatory bowel disease) is a digestive system disorder that causes chronic inflammation in the bowel. It usually affects the colon (large intestine) and the rectum, and may increase the risk of developing colon cancer for some people. Ulcerative colitis and digestive disorders are diagnosed and treated by a specialist known as a gastroenterologist.
The GI doctors at Troy, MI based Gastrointestinal Specialists PC offer advanced diagnostic and treatment options for inflammatory bowel syndrome. Treatment options depend on how severe the condition is, and how much of the large intestine is affected by inflammation. Treatment can range from lifestyle and diet modifications, to medication and surgery.
Signs and Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis
Cases of colitis range from mild to severe, and the symptoms can vary from person to person depending on the degree and location of inflammation in the intestine. The general symptoms include:
- Pain and abdominal cramping
- Unexplained weight loss
- Rectal pain and bleeding/blood in stool (schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist for any instances of persistent bloody stool or rectal bleeding)
- Persistent diarrhea
- Problems/difficulty passing or controlling bowel movements
Most cases of inflammatory bowel disease fall in the mild to moderate range. Although colitis is a chronic condition, many people can experience long periods of remission.
Causes and Risk Factors of Ulcerative Colitis
Although there is no definitive cause for colitis, heredity and genetics may play a role in how likely a person is to develop the condition. While inflammatory bowel disease can affect people of all ages (and can be more severe when diagnosed in children), it most commonly develops in adults in their 20s. It also tends to be more prevalent in people of caucasian or Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Lifestyle factors like diet and stress may exacerbate, but not necessarily cause symptoms of IBS.
Find a Gastroenterologist in Troy
If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of ulcerative colitis or other gastrointestinal disorders, contact Gastrointestinal Specialists PC in Troy, MI by calling (248) 273-9930 to schedule a consultation with a GI doctor today.