Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis

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Treatment may be considered in three categories:


A specific diet used to be considered important in the treatment of these disorders. Now, however, a balanced diet is felt to be more important than any specific foods to eat or avoid. If particular foods, such as rough foods, milk or citrus fruits or fruit juices are bothersome, they should be avoided. Otherwise, there are no dietary restrictions.


The second line of treatment involves medication. Since the specific cause of inflammatory bowel disease is not known, it is difficult to find medicines for treatment. However, there are some medications of definite value. Sulfasalazine, prednisone, metronidazole and azothiaprine are drugs which may be used, either individually or in combination, to reduce inflammation of the bowel.


The third course of therapy rests with surgery. In cases where medications are not effective in controlling the course of the disease, portions of the intestine may have to be removed because of continued inflammation, scarring, blockage of the intestine or infections which can develop as a result of severe inflammation. In some situations, a diseased segment of intestine can be removed and the remaining segments spliced back together inside the abdomen. In other cases, operations involving the creation of a temporary or permanent stoma, which is an opening of the intestine in the front portion of the abdomen, are performed. This usually is only necessary when the rectum is severely diseased and has not responded to treatment with medications.

Seeking Treatment

At the Swedish Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, we’ll coordinate your care by assembling a care team that includes the region’s top IBD gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons, experienced dietitians, nurses, clinical researchers and other providers. You’ll have close interaction with your care team so you can understand your condition and make informed and effective decisions about your treatment plan. You’ll also get the most complete and latest diagnostics and treatments available from nutritional therapies to surgery.