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What Are the Top Treatment Options for Colitis?

If you’re living with ulcerative colitis, everyday life is incredibly challenging. This frustrating medical condition can flare up, leaving its sufferers struggling with their digestive system and the painful symptoms that come with these woes.

Fortunately, there are ways to treat ulcerative colitis and its symptoms – and there are treatment options that can even eliminate the condition entirely.

In order to find a treatment option that works for you, your symptoms, and your body, you’ll want to take one important step first: learning about the available treatment options. Most people who are diagnosed with colitis want to control their symptoms, but it is possible to send this condition into remission.

There are two commonly recommended treatments for ulcerative colitis: medication or surgery. Each treatment option comes with its own benefits and side effects, and each can offer different results and success for colitis sufferers.

Medications for Colitis

Medication is often the first treatment option offered to those diagnosed with colitis. Medications are usually meant to control inflammation, which causes the symptoms of colitis. According to Crohn’s & Colitis, controlling that inflammation can put colitis into remission, allowing you to live a symptom-free life for periods of time.

Crohn’s & Colitis reports that the following types of medications are prescribed to treat colitis:

It’s common for those living with colitis to need a few different medications. It can take time to find the right medication that suits your body and your symptoms, so it’s important to know what kinds of medications are available and which are specifically designed to target what’s happening to your body.

In addition to medications that are designed to soothe ulcerative colitis and its symptoms, the Mayo Clinic notes that many people living with colitis also need over-the-counter medications to control some of the condition’s symptoms. These medications are easy to find at your local drugstore and are able to be taken in combination with stronger medications. Colitis sufferers can try:

Surgery Options for Colitis

If medication fails to help your colitis symptoms and you need a different treatment option, the only other option for this condition is surgery. Fortunately, surgery is an incredibly effective treatment – according to the Mayo Clinic, surgery often eliminates ulcerative colitis entirely, solving the problem and allowing you to live a healthy, symptom-free life.

However, surgery is a serious treatment option and it comes with risks. The surgeries that treat colitis are extensive, and they can alter the way you live. According to Crohn’s & Colitis, there are two surgeries that can eliminate colitis:

  1. Total Proctocolectomy with End Ileostomy: This complicated-sounding surgery is a tough operation to undergo. During a total proctocolectomy, a surgeon removes the anus, colon, and rectum. After this procedure, the ileostomy is performed, and a hole is created in the stomach so all waste is emptied into a pouch. The patient then wears the pouch going forward.
  2. Proctocolectomy with Ileal Pouch-Anal Anastomosis: An equally complex surgery, this procedure involves the removal of the colon and the rectum. The anus is left alone, and the surgeon creates a new pouch within the body that functions like the colon and rectum. In this surgery, the patient is able to eliminate waste naturally without an external pouch or bag.

While surgery is a smart choice for many colitis sufferers, there are a number of medications you can try before deciding on a surgical procedure. No matter your symptoms, there are plenty of options for treating ulcerative colitis.

The most important piece of information to know is that you have choices. Remember, no two people are the same – meaning your health and your body will respond differently to treatment options. That’s why it’s necessary to do your homework and understand what’s available for you if you’re diagnosed with colitis. Knowing your options is the first step in treating this condition.

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