Ulcerative colitis treatment options.
A healthy body keeps you functioning and fighting off illnesses. But sometimes that fight is compromised through no fault of your own because of a problem in your digestive tract called colitis
One of the most common kinds is ulcerative colitis. While there’s no cure for it, Eyewitness News Healthbeat Reporter Mark Hiller explains there is hope for many patients who have ulcerative colitis.
“You have ulcers and bleeding.” Geisinger Gastroenterologist Seth Kaufer explained the fate more than 900,000 people suffer who have ulcerative colitis. The inflammatory bowel disease or IBD is similar to Crohn’s disease which can affect any part of the digestive tract. Unlike Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis has one big difference. “It predominantly attacks just the colon area but it is the same kind of inflammation,” said Dr. Kaufer.
Ulcerative colitis occurs when your immune system mistakes food and bacteria in the GI tract as potentially harmful foreign substances. Your body’s immune system sends white blood cells to the lining of the bowels causing chaos in your colon. Dr. Kaufer said ulcerative colitis is treated similarly as Crohn’s disease usually starting with anti-inflammatories. “We also have the infusions, injections and surgery is always an option.”
But now patients have another treatment at their disposal. The FDA recently approved the drug Xeljanz to treat ulcerative colitis. In 2011, the medication was originally prescribed to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Xeljanz is now the first oral medication for patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis who are desperate for remission. “Inflammatory bowel disease patients really suffer, get misdiagnosed, go to a lot of different specialists,” said Dr. Kaufer.
While ulcerative colitis cannot be conquered, Dr. Kaufer urges patients to not just accept the symptoms and, instead, discuss with your doctor. “The unlucky few who have the inflammatory type of bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis do need the long term followup and continued care and usually maintenance medications to keep it under control.”
|Read on: Treating ulcerative colitis – PAHOMEPAGE|