How to Improve Quality of Life for Ulcerative Colitis Patients


ID-10087293As there is currently no known exact cause for ulcerative colitis (UC), treatment and symptom management are essential to maintaining a high quality of life for UC patients. Unlike Crohn’s disease, which can affect any part of a person’s GI tract, ulcerative colitis, a chronic condition, only affects the colon (large intestine).

Both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis share similar symptoms, but they are not necessarily identical. For example, ulcerative colitis patients can experience:

  • Frequent diarrhea
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Bloody stool

Obviously, these symptoms are unpleasant, highly inconvenient, and perhaps embarrassing for patients. Maintaining a high quality of life with a chronic condition like ulcerative colitis may seem difficult, especially post-diagnosis, but it is possible. At San Francisco Gastroenterology (SFGI), our GI specialists are experienced in the diagnosis (colonoscopy) and treatment of ulcerative colitis. The goal of treatment for any chronic condition, including UC, is to avoid symptom flare-ups in order to provide patients with a high quality of life that is free from symptoms or, at the very least, prepare for the causes and likelihood of a flare-up before it occurs.

Treatment for ulcerative colitis can include:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Diet modifications
  • Medications
  • Surgery

A GI specialist recommends treatment options that best suit a particular patient’s individual situation. Most providers advise patients to take on diet and lifestyle modifications in order to ease or even end symptoms from occurring.

Use of over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications are the second most popular treatment for ulcerative colitis. These medications help to reduce the intestinal inflammation caused by UC. In certain cases, surgery may be a patient’s best option for UC treatment, but this is typically only recommended if lifestyle changes, diet modification, and medications prove to be unsuccessful.

Contact SFGI today to discuss symptoms and schedule a consultation. Patients often expect that they have to live with UC or Crohn’s disease, but with simple and effective treatment, patients can greatly improve their quality of life.

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