Ulcerative Colitis Specialist

Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C.

Gastroenterology & Hepatology located in Centreville, VA & Sterling, VA

Ulcerative colitis (UC) causes chronic inflammation and ulceration in the large intestine, requiring ongoing medical care and management. At Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C., in Centreville, Sterling, and Chantilly, Virginia, Lance Lasner, MD, and Nisha Chand, MD, and the team customize care for ulcerative colitis to minimize symptoms and improve quality of life. For personalized and compassionate gastroenterology care, call the office nearest you, or schedule an appointment online today.

Ulcerative Colitis Q&A

What is ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the inner lining of the large intestine, causing inflammation and ulcers. Your large intestine is the last section of your digestive tract and includes your rectum and colon. 

Though ulcerative colitis may affect any part of your large intestine, it most often starts in the rectum and spreads to the colon. 

Crohn’s disease is another type of IBD that causes inflammation and ulcers in any part of your digestive tract.

The inflammation occurs because of an abnormal immune system reaction. Anyone can develop ulcerative colitis, but symptoms most often appear between ages 15 and 30, or 60 and older.

What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis symptoms generally start out mild and worsen over time. Common symptoms of UC include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea with pus or blood
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Rectal pain
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Anemia
  • Bowel urgency
  • Inability to have a bowel movement despite urgency
  • Weight loss

In mild cases, people may have four or fewer bowel movements a day and may or may not pass blood. In severe cases, people have six or more bloody bowel movements a day.

What types of tests diagnose ulcerative colitis?

The team at Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C. specializes in diagnosing and treating digestive conditions like ulcerative colitis. Before ordering any tests, your gastroenterologist reviews your symptoms and medical history and performs a physical exam.

They may then order various tests to confirm or rule out ulcerative colitis, such as blood work, stool testing, and colonoscopy. 

What are my treatment options for ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic digestive disorder and requires ongoing medical care and management. 

The Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C., team creates a personalized treatment plan for your ulcerative colitis based on the severity of your disease and symptoms. Treatment may include:

  • Aminosalicylates to reduce intestinal inflammation
  • Corticosteroids
  • Immunomodulators to minimize immune system response
  • Biologics to reduce immune system response
  • Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors to stop the enzymes that trigger inflammation

The goal of medical treatment for ulcerative colitis is to minimize the severity of your symptoms and put your disease in remission.

However, when medical interventions fail to improve your UC symptoms, the team may recommend surgery to remove the diseased portion of your bowel. 

For personalized solutions for ulcerative colitis, call Northern Virginia Gastroenterology, P.C., or schedule an appointment online today.