What Are Possible Treatment Options?
Anti-inflammatory drugs such as 5-aminosalicylates and corticosteroids are usually recommended during initial efforts to manage UC symptoms. Immune system suppressors like cyclosporine and vedolizumab may also help control the immune system and suppress the process that triggers inflammation.
If ulcerative colitis is causing fevers or infections, antibiotics might be prescribed. Certain pain relievers may be recommended as well. However, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) should be avoided because they may aggravate UC symptoms. Some patients also benefit from:
- Iron supplement to minimize issues with chronic intestinal bleeding
- Anti-diarrheal medication
- Biologics for severe symptoms
- A high-protein, high-calorie eating plans that's also low in fiber
What Type of Surgery May Be Necessary?
Typically, UC does not require surgery if symptoms can be effectively managed with medication and lifestyle adjustments. However, if UC symptoms are not responding well to other attempts to keep them from being too disruptive, surgery may be recommended. One option is to remove the colon and rectum (proctocolectomy). In some instances, only the colon is removed (colectomy).
Both men and women are equally affected by ulcerative colitis. UC tends to affect people when they get into their 30s, although the condition may not develop until later in life. Having a family history of UC and being of Ashkenazi Jewish descent are among the other risk factors associated with ulcerative colitis. Symptom flare-ups may be affected by certain foods and stress. Patients also tend to need regular colon cancer screenings on a more frequent basis as a preventative measure because US is associated with an increased risk of developing issues with abnormal cells.