Ulcerative Colitis Treatment
Other Lifestyle ChangesBesides diet, there are some other lifestyle changes that can help relieve ulcerative colitis symptoms in some people. A few of these lifestyle changes include:
- Learning more ways to manage stress
- Seeking support through support groups or counseling.
(Click Living With Ulcerative Colitis for more information.)
About 25 percent to 40 percent of people with ulcerative colitis must eventually have their colon and rectum removed because of:
- Massive bleeding
- Severe illness
- Rupture of the colon
- Risk of colon cancer (see Ulcerative Colitis and Colon Cancer).
Sometimes the doctor will recommend removing the colon if medical treatment fails or if the side effects of corticosteroids or other drugs threaten the patient's health.
There are several types of surgery for ulcerative colitis that may be recommended. These surgeries can include:
- Proctocolectomy with standard ileostomy
- Ileoanal anastomosis (or ileoanal pouch surgery or restorative proctocolectomy)
- Proctocolectomy with continent ileostomy.
Proctocolectomy is the medical term that means removing the colon and rectum.
(Click Ulcerative Colitis Surgery to learn more about these different types of surgeries for ulcerative colitis.)
Final Thoughts on Ulcerative Colitis TreatmentBecause ulcerative colitis does not usually go away by itself, if you choose to do nothing and don't seek treatment, your symptoms may continue to get worse. Your risk of infections and perforations can increase as well. Yet, medication, dietary and lifestyle changes, and surgery may help relieve or even eliminate your symptoms.
Relieving the symptoms of ulcerative colitis requires effort on your part. By following your healthcare provider's recommendations for ulcerative colitis treatment, you may be able to relieve your symptoms, improve the quality of your life, and reduce your risk of developing complications, such as colon cancer or tears in the bowel (known as perforations).