Ulcerative Colitis

What is Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is one of the major forms of inflammatory bowel disease (the other being Crohn’s disease). Ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune disorder that leads to uncontrolled inflammation of the lining of the colon. Unlike Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis affects only the colon.

Causes of Ulcerative Colitis

While the cause of ulcerative colitis is not known, the disease likely involves an abnormal, overactive immune response to an environmental trigger such as a bacteria, virus or infection. This continual activation of the immune system in turn causes chronic inflammation and sores (ulceration) in the colon lining. There is no evidence that ulcerative colitis is caused by diet, stress or infection, and no indication that the condition is contagious.

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

Symptoms of ulcerative colitis can include diarrhea, mucous or blood in the rectum, abdominal pain, weight loss and fever. Some patients also experience problems outside the GI tract including skin rash, joint pain, eye redness and liver problems.

Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosis & Treatment

Ulcerative colitis is usually diagnosed by colonoscopy. Ulcerative colitis be effectively managed with medications, dietary and lifestyle change, and in some cases surgery.

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The board-certified physicians at San Francisco Gastroenterology are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders affecting the digestive tract, including Ulcerative Colitis. Our doctors serve patients from Marin County, Oakland, Berkeley, Palo Alto and the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Our goal is simply to provide the highest quality medical care and patient service possible.

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