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Ulcerative Colitis Specialist

Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC

Board Certified Gastroenterologists located in Hattiesburg, MS

Though you may develop bloody stools from many causes, it’s not a symptom you should ignore and may be a sign of ulcerative colitis. At Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC, which has two locations in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the team of board-certified gastroenterologists uses advanced diagnostic tools and techniques to diagnose and treat ulcerative colitis. To schedule your consultation, call the office nearest you or book online today.

Ulcerative Colitis Q & A

What is ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects your large intestine, which is the last section of your bowel and includes your colon and rectum.

The chronic gastrointestinal condition causes inflammation and ulcerations in the lining of your intestinal tract. You may develop ulcerative colitis at any age, but a diagnosis most often occurs before age 30.

Researchers are still investigating what causes someone to develop ulcerative colitis, but theorize it may occur from a combination of genetics and environmental factors that trigger the immune system to mistakenly attack the intestinal tissue. 

What are ulcerative colitis symptoms?

Ulcerative colitis symptoms vary in type and severity. In most cases, symptoms develop gradually.

Common symptoms include:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Rectal pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bowel movement urgency
  • Joint pain

Symptoms are generally mild to moderate in most people. You may even experience long periods of remission. 

How is ulcerative colitis diagnosed?

When you come in to see a board-certified gastroenterologist at Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC with symptoms that may be signs of ulcerative colitis, they perform a comprehensive exam, so you get an accurate diagnosis.

Your provider reviews your symptoms, medical and family history, and performs a physical exam. To confirm or rule out a diagnosis, your provider may recommend various tests such as:

  • Blood work
  • Stool test
  • Colonoscopy
  • Sigmoidoscopy
  • Upper endoscopy or capsule endoscopy
  • CT scan, MRI, or X-rays

Your provider uses the information gathered during your exam to confirm a diagnosis and develop the most effective treatment plan. 

How is ulcerative colitis treated?

Treatment for your ulcerative colitis focuses on keeping your symptoms in remission. Your provider develops an individualized treatment plan based on the severity of your disease and symptoms.

Your treatment plan may include medication therapy that helps control inflammation, such as:

  • 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) for long-term inflammation control
  • Corticosteroids for moderate to severe inflammation
  • Immunomodulatory drugs (decrease immune response that initiates inflammation)

The gastroenterology practice also offers Remicade® infusion therapy for patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis who don’t respond well to other medications.  

However, if your ulcerative colitis is severe, your provider may recommend surgery to remove some or all of your large intestine for long-term symptom relief. 

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition that requires ongoing medical management. For expert gastrointestinal care from an experienced team, contact Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC by phone or online today.