If your immune system goes into overdrive, it can trigger ulcerative colitis, a disorder causing cramps, diarrhea, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Jan J. Shim, MD, offers specialized care for gastrointestinal ailments like ulcerative colitis. Dr. Shim and her patient-centered team can help ease your symptoms so you can enjoy all of the activities you love. Call her main office in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York, or her office in Fort Lee, New Jersey, today, or schedule a consultation online.
An ongoing, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis happens when your large intestine, or colon, becomes inflamed and pitted. This can lead to flare-ups of symptoms, such as fever, bloody diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
While the cause of ulcerative colitis isn’t known for certain, it’s thought to be linked to an overactive immune system in the intestine, or to family history. Symptoms of ulcerative colitis typically develop over time. The condition has no known cure, but treatment can help manage your symptoms to enhance your overall well-being.
There are a variety of types of ulcerative colitis, and they’re often categorized based on where the ailment is located. For example, ulcerative proctitis is an inflammation in the area near your rectum, while pancolitis affects your whole large intestine, or colon.
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis vary, depending on the location and severity of the inflammation. Signs and symptoms can include:
These symptoms usually happen during flare-ups, which can last days or weeks and can come back at any time.
Dr. Shim typically recommends a series of tests to rule out other health conditions before confirming a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis. You’ll usually need tests of your blood and stool, an X-ray, CT scan, or colonoscopy. During a colonoscopy, Dr. Shim uses a long, flexible tube to view the inside of your entire colon, and, if need be, take small tissue samples for lab testing.
Dr. Shim designs a treatment plan that’s right for your type of ulcerative colitis. This plan usually involves medication and may call for surgery. You can be prescribed 5-aminosalicylates, or a corticosteroid, such as prednisone or hydrocortisone.
Other medications that could help your condition include:
Dr. Shim also can recommend iron supplements to help ward off anemia.
If you think you have some of the signs of ulcerative colitis, then don’t delay in getting the dedicated, high-caliber medical care you deserve. Call or book a consultation online with Jan J. Shim, MD, today.