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Information About Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that results in long-lasting ulcers in the lining of the digestive tract. The condition is usually classified according to how severe the ulcers are and where they are located.

For some, the condition occurs in the rectum (ulcerative proctitis) and produces only mild symptoms. However, the condition can also affect multiple parts of the digestive tract, including sections of the large intestine (colon). This can result in serious, sometimes debilitating symptoms.

If left untreated, ulcerative colitis can lead to potentially life-threatening complications.

Potential Complications

Individuals who experience chronic bowel problems, including severe abdominal pain, blood in the stool, ongoing diarrhea or unexplained fever, should see a doctor as soon as possible to avoid long-term complications such as:

  • Severe bleeding in the colon
  • Dehydration
  • Rapidly swelling colon (toxic megacolon)
  • A perforated colon
  • An elevated risk of colon cancer
  • An elevated risk of clots in the arteries and veins

Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis

There is no known cure for ulcerative colitis, but if you have the condition, there are different treatment options that can help relieve your symptoms. At the Tampa General Hospital Endoscopy Center, we have a team of physicians who specialize in helping patients find relief from this condition and many other gastrointestinal disorders. In many cases, we can help them achieve long-term remission.

First, our specialists will perform advanced diagnostic tests, such as colonoscopies and CT scans of the abdomen to determine the severity of ulcerative colitis. This will help us identify the best course of treatment. We’ll also advise you about lifestyle modifications you can make, including dietary changes and stress reduction strategies that may help control symptoms.

Why TGH?

Because we’ve produced positive treatment outcomes for our patients, Tampa General Hospital is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation's best hospitals and highest ranked in Florida for Gastroenterology & GI Surgery. Plus, our affiliation with the University of Florida makes us an academic center at the forefront of medical advancements and treatments for gastrointestinal disorders and diseases.

To find a gastroenterologist at Tampa General Hospital who can help you treat ulcerative colitis, use our Physician Finder or call 1-800-822-3627.