What is Ulcerative Colitis? Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that affects the large intestine, or colon, and the rectum. Ulcerative colitis has similarities to Crohn’s disease. Ulcerative colitis is an intermittent disease, with periods of exacerbated symptoms, and periods that are relatively symptom-free. It has an incidence of about one person per 10,000 in North America.
Signs & Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis
The following is a list of signs and symptoms related to Ulcerative Colitis.
- Abdominal pain and cramping that usually disappears after a bowel movement
- Abdominal sounds
- Weight loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Joint pain
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosis and Treatment Options
The initial diagnosis of Ulcerative coitis includes the following.
- A complete blood count is done to check for anemia; thrombocytosis is occasionally seen
- Electrolyte studies and renal function
- Liver function tests to screen for bile duct involvement: primary sclerosing cholangitis.
- Stool culture, to rule out parasites and infectious causes.
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate can be measured, with an elevated sedimentation rate indicating that an inflammatory process is present.
- C-reactive protein can be measured, with an elevated level being another indication of inflammation.
The best test to formally diagnose Ulcerative Colitis is an endoscopy. Doctors usually perform a sigmoidoscopy. If results are unclear, they may perform a full colonoscopy.
Treatment is only needed for those who are experiencing symptoms. Treatment initially involves the use of medications to treat any infection and to reduce inflammation. These medications may include:
Anti-inflammatory Drugs: Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), Mesalamine (Asacol, Rowasa), and Corticosteroids
Immune system suppressors: Azathioprine (Imuran) and mercaptopurine (Purinethol), Infliximab (Remicade), Adalimumab (Humira), Methotrexate (Rheumatrex), and Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune)
Other medication(s): Anti-diarrheals, Laxatives, Pain relievers, Iron supplements, Nutrition, Vitamin B-12 shots, Calcium and vitamin D supplements
Surgery may be required for complications such as obstructions, fistulas and/or abscesses, or if the disease does not respond to drugs within a reasonable time.
Do I Have an Ulcerative Colitis Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Ulcerative Colitis cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know have developed Ulcerative Colitis and have used one of the drugs listed below in the “Related Pages on our Website”, you should contact our firm immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Dangerous Drug Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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