Colitis in Kansas City, MO

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Colitis is a condition that indicates the general swelling of the mucosal lining of the intestinal tract. Even though ulcerative colitis is oftentimes called colitis, these are not the same thing. There are several different types of this digestive disorder that might lead to swelling of the intestinal tract and colon, along with other connected problems. A few widespread types of colitis include:

  • Ischemic (ischaemic) colitis: A result of inadequate blood supply
  • Microscopic colitis: Causes persistent loose bowel movements
  • Infectious colitis (food poisoning): Caused by the consumption of bacteria and viruses in tainted foods
  • Ulcerative colitis (IBD colitis): Leads to discomfort and inflammation of the colon

The board-certified specialists at Digestive Health Specialists are able to address all forms of colitis as well as other GI problems. To receive care for colitis in Kansas City, MO, or to explore available care choices, we encourage you to request an appointment at our office today.

There are many different reasons why the inner layer of the large bowel may be swollen. Some of the most typical reasons include:

  • Infection (due to parasites in the digestive system)
  • Allergic reactions
  • IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Diminished blood supply to the large bowel (ischemia)
  • Specific over-the-counter and prescription medicines (typical drugs resulting in colitis are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and mycophenolate)
  • Invasion of the intestinal lining with collagen or white blood cells

Regardless of the reason for your colitis, you can consult with a gastroenterologist at Digestive Health Specialists who can help treat your illness.

Signs of possible colitis include:

  • Fatigue
  • Tenderness in the abdomen
  • Stools with blood
  • Fever and/or chilling (signs of infection)
  • Feeling depressed
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Atypical bowel habits (such as a persistent urge to have a bowel movement)
  • Discomfort in/of the joints or colon (abdomen) that might come in cycles or be constant
  • Loose, watery stool (with or without the presence of blood in the stool)
  • Sores on the large bowel
  • Red, inflamed eyes
  • Sores in the lining of the mouth
  • Cramping

When you are showing any number of the above signs consistently, please contact us and seek care from our group of Kansas City, MO gastroenterology physicians.

Common treatments across all forms of colitis often consist of:

  • Rehydration of the body (by mouth or intravenously)
  • Painkillers
  • Improving vital signs
  • Common IBD medications
  • Modifying your diet

According to the cause of the colitis, the course of intervention can vary.

  • Inflammatory bowel disease: If the reason for the inflammation is due to ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, then NSAID drugs could be used initially and medications that suppress the immune system could be used if necessary. Surgery may be needed based on the stage of the colitis.
  • Microscopic colitis: In some instances, an individual's body is capable of healing on its own. It may also be treated using anti-diarrheal medication as well as particular steroid drugs, adjustment of dietary intake, and in rare cases, surgical procedures.
  • Infections: When bacteria is the cause of infection, then antibiotics can be the right course of treatment. When the problem is viral, then hydrating the body and waiting several days are the primary methods to alleviate the colitis.
  • Ischemic colitis: The normal intervention for ischemic colitis is to add fluids to the body with intravenous therapy and to only consume clear liquids. In the event that blood supply is not restored to the colon, then a surgical procedure may be necessary to remove those portions of the colon that suffered the loss of blood circulation.
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You should speak with a doctor in the event that you suffer from diarrhea that persists for 14 days or longer, stools with blood, fever or dehydration, or severe abdominal discomfort that gets progressively worse. If you are seeking a specialist to partner with you to improve or manage colitis, then it's possible to find a skilled gastroenterologist through Digestive Health Specialists.

Staying on the cutting edge of current and innovative treatments for colitis and numerous other GI diseases, the providers at Digestive Health Specialists offer patient-centric treatment that helps patients obtain an improved quality of life. For individualized colitis treatment in Kansas City, MO, we invite you to request a consultation with our gastroenterology office.

Is there a difference between colitis and ulcerative colitis?

Colitis and ulcerative colitis are closely related but differ in their causes and severity. Colitis is a broad term for inflammation of the colon, which can result from infections, reduced blood flow, medications, or allergic reactions, causing symptoms like abdominal pain and diarrhea. Ulcerative colitis, however, is a specific type of colitis categorized under inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It involves chronic inflammation and ulceration of the colon and rectum lining, leading to more severe symptoms and long-term health implications.

What role does diet play in managing colitis?

You can manage colitis and help prevent symptoms by choosing foods that reduce intestinal irritation and support good GI health. A low-residue diet can help by reducing fiber intake, thereby decreasing the frequency and volume of bowel movements. An anti-inflammatory diet, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, lean proteins, and plenty of fruits and vegetables, can help fight inflammation. Additionally, an elimination diet can identify specific food sensitivities by removing common irritants like gluten, dairy, and processed foods and then gradually reintroducing them. These dietary adjustments aim to ease symptoms, maintain nutritional balance, and enhance digestive health.

What can happen if you don't treat colitis?

Untreated colitis can lead to severe complications. One of the most dangerous is colon perforation, where a hole forms in the colon wall, posing a life-threatening risk. Patients may also develop toxic megacolon, a condition marked by rapid colon swelling and potential rupture. Chronic inflammation from untreated colitis also increases the risk of colon cancer and may lead to other inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis or skin disorders. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent these serious health issues.

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