Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The large intestine (colon) gets inflamed and ulcers form in your colon. These ulcers can bleed.
People have "attacks" of ulcerative colitis. Attacks can come and go. They can cause painful belly cramps and bloody diarrhea.
This disease can affect part or all of the colon. How bad the disease gets will often depend on how much of the colon is affected.
Bad attacks are often treated in a hospital. There you can get medicines, fluid, and nutrition through a tube in your vein, called an IV. This lets your digestive system rest and recover.
If the medicines don't work well, surgery may be needed to remove the colon.
At home, you can help control your ulcerative colitis. Take your medicines and try to eat well. And see your doctor as much as he or she recommends.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: August 9, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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