Ulcerative Colitis

Stoneleigh Medical Group

Gastroenterology & Internal Medicine located in Carmel, NY, Brewster, NY, Pawling, NY, & Jefferson Valley, NY

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the large intestine. Though people may develop this chronic condition at any age, a diagnosis is more common in people between the ages of 15 and 40. At Westchester Putnam Gastroenterology in Carmel, New York, the experienced gastroenterologists diagnose and treat ulcerative colitis. For expert care from a practice that combines traditional medicine with advanced tools and techniques, call or make an appointment online today.

Ulcerative Colitis Q&A

What is ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease that causes inflammation and ulcerations on the inner lining of your large intestine. This inflammatory bowel disease usually starts gradually and worsens over time.

You may be at a greater risk of developing ulcerative colitis if it runs in your family. However, most people with ulcerative colitis don’t have a family history of the disease. 

Researchers theorize that the inflammatory condition may develop from an immune system malfunction that a bacterial or viral infection triggers. Instead of attacking the germ, your immune system attacks the tissue, causing inflammation and ulcers. 


What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis symptoms vary. However, most people with the chronic gastrointestinal condition have:

  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fevers

As noted, symptoms tend to start gradually and worsen over time. You may also have mild symptoms with intermittent periods of severe symptoms. 

Some people with ulcerative colitis have periods of remission, going months or years without any symptoms. 

No matter the degree or frequency of your symptoms, ulcerative colitis is a chronic gastrointestinal condition that requires ongoing medical monitoring and management. 


How is ulcerative colitis diagnosed?

When you visit Westchester Putnam Gastroenterology with symptoms that sound like ulcerative colitis, your provider conducts an in-depth clinical exam so you get the right diagnosis.

They review your symptoms, medical and family history, and perform a physical. 

To diagnose ulcerative colitis, the gastroenterologists at Westchester Putnam Gastroenterology perform an upper endoscopy, capsule endoscopy, or colonoscopy. They perform these diagnostic tests at their state-of-the-art endoscopy center.


How is ulcerative colitis treated?

With the right treatment plan, you can live a full and active life with ulcerative colitis. Westchester Putnam Gastroenterology develops individual treatment plans based on the severity of your symptoms and tissue damage. 

For mild cases, your provider may only recommend routine monitoring. For moderate to severe cases, they prescribe medications to control symptoms, such as anti-inflammatory medications or immune system suppressors. 

In some cases, your gastroenterologist may recommend a total colectomy — surgical removal of the entire colon — to alleviate ulcerative colitis symptoms. 

Ulcerative colitis increases your risk of developing colon cancer. Your provider may recommend routine colonoscopies for colon cancer screenings.

The health professionals at Westchester Putnam Gastroenterology have years of experience caring for some of the most complicated cases of inflammatory bowel disease. 

For expert ulcerative colitis care, call or click the online booking button to schedule a consultation today.