Ulcerative Colitis Specialist

Ulcerative Colitis services offered in Tavares, The Villages and Orlando, FL

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic digestive disorder that affects more than 600,000 people in the United States. It causes inflammation in the large intestine that leads to a wide range of symptoms. At Gastrointestinal Consultants in Tavares, Orlando, and The Villages, Florida, Lalbahadur Nagabhairu, MD, Shams Tabrez, MD, and the team provide comprehensive care for digestive conditions like ulcerative colitis. They develop personalized plans that minimize symptoms and flare-ups. Call or schedule an appointment online today.

What is ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the large intestine, which includes your rectum and colon. It causes inflammation and ulcerations on the innermost lining of the intestinal wall. 

Ulcerative colitis most often affects the rectum and may spread to some or all of the colon. 

The inflammation occurs because of an overreaction of the immune system. Normally, your immune system attacks foreign invaders that cause disease. However, in ulcerative colitis, the immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of the intestine, causing inflammation and ulcerations.

What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis symptoms vary in type and severity. Common symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue

Symptoms range from mild to severe and come and go. People with UC may notice a pattern between periods of flare-ups when symptoms are worse, and periods of remission, when symptoms are better or nonexistent.

Some people go years without an ulcerative colitis flare-up.

How is ulcerative colitis diagnosed?

The team at Gastrointestinal Consultants conducts a thorough history and physical examination when you come in with complaints of abdominal pain, diarrhea, or bloody stools. 

After reviewing your symptoms and medical history, the team orders diagnostic tests to confirm or rule out the cause of your symptoms. Testing might include bloodwork, stool testing, and imaging scans such as an MRI or CT scan.

They may also perform a colonoscopy to look for inflammation or ulcerations to confirm a diagnosis and assess the severity of the disease. 

What are the treatments for ulcerative colitis?

Treatment for UC focuses on reducing inflammation to improve symptoms and frequency of flare-ups. No single treatment works for all patients, and the Gastrointestinal Consultants team works closely with you to develop a personalized plan.

Treatments for ulcerative colitis include:

  • Nutrition therapy
  • Aminosalicylates to reduce inflammation
  • Corticosteroids
  • Immunomodulators to reduce immune system reaction
  • Biologics to reduce immune system reaction
  • Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors to stop that enzyme from triggering inflammation

When medical interventions fail to reduce symptoms, the team may recommend surgery, which involves removing the colon and rectum and creating a new system for your body to store and eliminate stool.

To find out more about ulcerative colitis, call Gastrointestinal Consultants or schedule an appointment online today.