Ulcerative Colitis in Thibodaux, LA

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Ulcerative colitis is an individual part of a larger grouping of conditions referred to as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This condition results in irritating swelling and ulcerations within one's intestinal system, usually the colon. Ulcerative colitis differs from Crohn's disease (the other type of IBD) because it is restricted to the colon. Crohn's disease, alternately, is typically experienced near the end of the small intestine and the beginning of the colon but has been known to involve any portion of the intestinal tract from the mouth to the anus. Also, ulcerative colitis only affects the colon's inner lining, whereas Crohn’s disease could affect the entirety of the bowel wall.

People who have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis are often forced to bear painful gastrointestinal troubles, which can create problems in their daily lives. At Digestive Health Center, our board-certified GI doctors regularly diagnose and provide treatment for ulcerative colitis, and work closely with patients to assist in providing relief from its symptoms. If you need help with ulcerative colitis in Thibodaux, LA, please contact your nearest location as soon as possible.

There are quite a few varying types of ulcerative colitis, which are usually classified by location:

Ulcerative proctitis: The swelling of a person's colon is isolated to the rectum and tends to be the mildest variety of ulcerative colitis. A common indication of having ulcerative proctitis is bleeding from the rectum.

Left-sided colitis: Swelling is more dispersed throughout the colon and might involve more than the rectum but is restrained to all or part of the sigmoid and descending colon. It commonly causes troubling symptoms, some of which could include bloody diarrhea and unintended weight loss.

Pancolitis: This condition is also known as extensive colitis and might involve the entirety of the colon. Symptoms could include severe diarrhea containing blood, severe abdominal pain, and tiredness.

Acute severe ulcerative colitis: This is a less common variety of ulcerative colitis that affects the entirety of the colon. Its symptoms can include serious pain and the inability to consume food. The condition usually requires hospitalization and is known to have a much greater likelihood of surgery.

The exact cause of ulcerative colitis remains unknown. However, there are some factors that appear to increase the presentation of ulcerative colitis and its symptoms.

  • Genetics: A person may inherit genes from your parent or parents that elevate the likelihood of developing ulcerative colitis.
  • Immune system: It is presumed that viruses or internal bacteria could trigger the onset of ulcerative colitis. When a virus or bacteria enters the digestive tract, the body calls upon your immune system to fight the virus or bacteria. Anytime this takes place, the body deploys white blood cells to the colon and they then attack non-problematic cells and tissue. Thereby causing your colon, or large intestine, to become inflamed.

What are the risk factors for ulcerative colitis?

A few of the risk factors associated with suffering from ulcerative colitis include:

  • Family history: If a family member has ulcerative colitis, you may have a higher likelihood of developing this disease.
  • Race or ethnicity: Caucasians and people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent appear to be at an increased chance of developing ulcerative colitis; nonetheless, the condition may affect any race.
  • Age: Ulcerative colitis often presents before 30 years of age.


What are the typical symptoms of ulcerative colitis?

Many symptoms frequently experienced with ulcerative colitis manifest over time and range from mild to severe. Symptoms of ulcerative colitis often include:

  • Disruption in a normal menstrual cycle
  • Mouth sores
  • Rectal pain
  • Bloody stool
  • Stomach cramps
  • Fever
  • Drainage or pain around or near the anus
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Bloody diarrhea with pus
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Constipation

If you ever see blood in your stool, please make contact with your doctor or a specialist in Thibodaux, LA as soon as possible. You should see a gastroenterologist if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms or any combination of symptoms on a persistent basis. The board-certified gastroenterologists at Digestive Health Center offer experienced treatment for ulcerative colitis and can assist in the treatment and management of these problems.

The ultimate goals of treating ulcerative colitis are to control the inflammation that activates your symptoms and to help you reach remission. Continuing treatment includes but is not limited to regular cancer screenings, due to the fact that having ulcerative colitis positions you at greater risk for, later, suffering from colon cancer. The primary categories of ulcerative colitis treatment are as follows:

Antibiotics: Antibiotics can assist in the destruction of bacteria connected with causing the unusual immune system reaction that leads to inflammation. These are not a mainstay of therapy but might be utilized in conjunction with additional treatments.

Anti-inflammatory drugs: Anti-inflammatory medicines used to manage ulcerative colitis are corticosteroids and oral 5-aminosalicylates. Corticosteroids help decrease inflammation in the body and may be prescribed in conjunction with immune system suppressors. Oral 5-aminosalicylates are also useful in the reduction of inflammation in the body.

Additional medications and supplements might be recommended to help relieve certain ulcerative colitis symptoms. These may include:

  • Anti-diarrheals
  • Shots of vitamin B-12
  • Vitamin D and calcium supplementation
  • Iron supplements

Long-term anti-inflammatory therapies: This type of therapy addresses the body’s abnormal immune response to viruses and bacteria. The immunosuppressant drugs your Thibodaux, LA gastroenterologist might prescribe include:

  • Certolizumab
  • Infliximab
  • Methotrexate
  • Tofacitinib
  • Ustekinumab
  • Adalimumab
  • Natalizumab
  • Vedolizumab
  • Azathioprine

Nutrition and diet: Your gastrointestinal provider may recommend a special diet to assist in the relief of symptoms and aid in inducing remission.

Surgery: In extreme cases, surgery could be suggested to excise a part of or the whole colon or rectum.

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Will ulcerative colitis go away?

Currently, there is no cure for this disorder. Medication may help manage the condition and associated symptoms, but it won’t cure your condition. It can also aid you in reaching and remaining in remission.

Was my ulcerative colitis caused by diet?

A tie between food and a definite cause of ulcerative colitis hasn’t been determined. There are certain diet choices, however, that have been linked to an elevated risk of getting the condition. These foods include foods that are high in fats, sugar, and refined carbs and foods that are low in fruits, veggies, and fiber.

Who is qualified to diagnose and treat ulcerative colitis?

Your symptoms will likely result in a visit to your family doctor. If your physician thinks you may have ulcerative colitis, they should recommend you to a gastroenterologist, like those at Digestive Health Center. It is helpful to consult a provider that is an expert in the digestive tract.

What can help me stay in remission?

If you’ve reached remission for your ulcerative colitis, you will likely want to do anything to remain symptom-free. A few things to keep in mind while you’re in remission are:

  • Your stress level: Your stress may lead to your symptoms coming back. Getting a good sleep, regularly exercising, and learning stress management might help reduce your chances of further symptoms.
  • Medications: If you’re experiencing fever or pain, you can consider using acetaminophen like Tylenol® as opposed to Motrin® or Advil® (NSAIDs) because acetaminophen is less likely to trigger symptoms. Talk with your GI provider for more information.
  • Change in Medication: If you notice any of your current medications seem to trigger your ulcerative colitis symptoms, please contact our GI team. We could likely swap out your medication for a medication less likely to result in a flare-up.

Ulcerative colitis can take a toll on your overarching enjoyment of life and digestive health. With specialized care, however, you can manage the situation and better your quality of life. Whether you are experiencing the beginning symptoms or have been dealing with ulcerative colitis regression after remission, the GI specialists at Digestive Health Center can offer you personalized treatment plan to help you find a reprieve. To find a provider who offers care for ulcerative colitis in Thibodaux, LA, get in touch with your nearest Digestive Health Center location today.

I saw Dr. Duplechain last month to address my IBS-C and find a solution to a life-long issue. He was very attentive to my needs. And he was extremely thorough in asking all the questions necessary. He prescribed Trulance for me. He is the first gastroenterologist I've seen who has finally prescribed a medication to treat this condition. I am truly grateful for Dr. Duplechain and his decisive action in getting me some relief. I have a follow-up with him next month.

J.K. Google

Dr Toups was super nice and made my experience so comfortable.

G.P. Google

Katie Hebert is awesome! Very thorough and sooo knowledgeable, great personality and takes her time with you. The kind of doctor that you love to have.

L.S. Google

Dr. Justin Toups is an amazing physician. Not only is he extremely knowledgeable and kind to all his patients, he listens to your concerns and offers solutions to medical issues they are experiencing. His compassion for his patients is evident in his care for each one of them. I would highly recommend him for your physician if you are in need of a gastroenterologist.

J.F. Google

The nurse and Dr Toups were very courteous and informative of my current health.

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