Ulcerative Colitis: Complications of a Complicated Disease

Medically reviewed by: Gary H. Hoffman, MD

Ulcerative Colitis Has A Unique Set Of Complications

Ulcerative colitis (U.C.) is a disease with many faces.  And with those faces come complications.  And with the complications comes illness.  Your colon and rectal surgeon, also known as a proctologist, is well versed in recognizing the problems associated with U.C. and, hopefully stopping them before they advance too far.

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There is much debate as to the cause of ulcerative colitis and how the cause plays into the ongoing disease process leading to the complications.  Most experts feel that U.C. is an autoimmune disease, whereby the body’s own defense system, the immune system, attacks itself, specifically, the colon and rectum.  The disease seems to occur in large cities such as Los Angeles.  No infectious agent has been isolated.

Complications Despite Treatment.

Even with best of treatments, including aspirin type compounds, chemotherapeutic drugs, steroids and biologic agents which neutralize inflammatory factors, complications may occur.  These complications can be mild, or life threatening.  What are they?

  • Diarrhea.
  • Mucus or blood in the stool.
  • Perforation of the colon (following toxic megacolon).
  • A greater than normal risk of colon cancer.
  • Dehydration.
  • Liver disease.
  • Kidney stones.
  • Skin disorders (pyoderma gangrenosum), arthritis or vision disturbances.

Some of these are treated symptomatically (such as administering fluids to combat dehydration), and some are treated with drugs.  The important lesson is that while you are under treatment for active U.C., you should immediately report any change in your disease or any new symptoms, to your physician.  This will allow the earliest treatment, and hopefully abort the process.

Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates.

The board certified surgeons of Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates are extensively trained in the diagnosis and treatment of ulcerative colitis and its complications.  Your confidential appointment will allow your surgeon to get to know you, and address your issues.  You will be able to ask questions and understand your disease.

By calling (310)273-2310, you can schedule your first consultation and begin the road to health.  Your doctor, in conjunction with other specialists, will guide your diagnostic evaluation and treatment.  The path to health begins with the first step.  Take that first step.

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