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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 and is usually classified according to how severe the ulcers are and where they are located. For some, the condition is confined to the rectum (ulcerative proctitis) and produces only mild symptoms. However, this condition can also affect multiple parts of the digestive tract, including sections of the large intestine (colon), and can result in serious, sometimes debilitating symptoms.

If left untreated, ulcerative colitis can lead to potentially life-threatening complications. Individuals who experience chronic bowel problems, including severe abdominal pain, blood in the stool, ongoing diarrhea, or an 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

Although there is no known cure for ulcerative colitis, an array of treatment options exist that can alleviate symptoms. At the Tampa General Hospital Endoscopy Center, we have a team of physicians who specialize in helping patients find relief from this condition as well as many other gastrointestinal disorders and, in many cases, can help them achieve long-term remission. Our specialists perform advanced diagnostic tests, such as colonoscopies and CT scans of the abdomen to determine the extent of ulcerative colitis in our patients, which helps to identify the best course of treatment. We also advise our patients about lifestyle modifications they can make, including dietary changes and stress reduction strategies that may help control symptoms. Because we’ve produced positive treatment outcomes for our patients, TGH has earned a place on U.S. News & World Report’s list of America’s Best Hospitals for Gastroenterology & GI Surgery in 2017-18.

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.