Advanced Digestive Care

Gastroenterologists located in Clearwater, FL

Inflammation in the lining of your colon or large bowel causes a painful condition called colitis. If you’re experiencing unexplained bouts of diarrhea, bloating, and cramping, the team at Advanced Digestive Care in Clearwater, Florida, can find out if you have colitis and prescribe an effective course of treatment. Find out what’s causing your gastrointestinal discomfort by calling Advanced Digestive Care today to schedule a consultation, or book an appointment using the online tool.

Colitis Q & A

What is colitis?

Colitis is a condition that affects your colon or large bowel. Inflammation in the tissue lining your colon causes symptoms such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in the stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Weight loss

In some cases, you might also have an urgency to move your bowels, chills or fever, and vomiting.

There are several potential causes for colitis, including:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Infections
  • Ischemia (lack of blood flow)
  • Chemical or radiation damage

The two main inflammatory bowel diseases are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

What’s the best way to diagnose colitis?

The best way to diagnose colitis is to use a procedure called endoscopy. This is a minimally invasive technique in which your provider at Advanced Digestive Care inserts a specialized instrument equipped with a light and a tiny camera into your rectum.

One method involves inserting a sigmoidoscope into the left side of your colon from your rectum. An alternative approach is to insert a colonoscope the full length of your colon and into your distal small bowel.

The team at Advanced Digestive Care can also take biopsies, which are small tissue samples, and collect stools for analysis during your endoscopy. X-rays and CT scans are alternative diagnostic techniques to endoscopy but have the disadvantage that there’s no opportunity to gather tissue samples.

How does the cause determine my treatment for colitis?

Before being able to treat your colitis, your provider at Advanced Digestive Care needs to know the cause of your condition. If there’s an infection, a course of antibiotics should clear up the problem. Anti-inflammatories and antispasmodic medications can also be useful in reducing the inflammation in your tissues and enabling the healing process to begin.

Most patients don’t require surgery to treat their colitis. If you do need to undergo surgery because your symptoms are severe and other treatments aren’t helping, your options are:

Total proctocolectomy with end ileostomy

In this procedure, your provider at Advanced Digestive Care removes your anus, rectum, and colon. This means you need to have a colostomy bag to collect waste through a permanent hole in your abdomen called a stoma.

Proctocolectomy with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA)

This procedure removes your colon and rectum but leaves your anus and the anal sphincter. That means that although you use a temporary colostomy bag while you recover from surgery, once healed you won’t need a permanent stoma.

If you have symptoms of colitis, it’s best to visit the experts at Advanced Digestive Care to get a definitive diagnosis and advice on the best course of treatment. Call the practice today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.