How is ulcerative colitis diagnosed?
“It’s a combination of your clinical history—how you’re feeling, the presentation of your symptoms, what I’m seeing on a physical exam, your lab work, especially inflammatory markers, which are typically sky high,” Yakubov told E! News. “Inflammatory markers can be in the blood, but in the last couple of years we have identified a stool inflammatory marker called calprotectin. And then the most important part is a colonoscopy.”
How do you treat ulcerative colitis?
“First, our goal is to induce remission,” Yakubov said. “We want you to start feeling better and then we want to maintain remission. So induction is traditionally done with either oral medications if it’s mild disease, called mesalamine. Then, for moderate to severe disease, we almost always have to involve a short round of steroids. To calm this immune system down, suppress it. Allow the tissue not to be attacked by its own immune system. And in the interim, you have to convert to a steroid sparing medication for maintenance of remission.”
The doctor said that the majority of people suffering from ulcerative colitis “are required to be on a lifelong treatment,” adding, “Once it starts happening two, three times a year, it’s a sign that, overall, there will be larger involvement in the future.”
Yakubov said that “sometimes, people have to remove the whole colon.”
According to the National Library of Medicine, removing the colon will cure ulcerative colitis.
How many ulcerative colitis attacks will a patient have?
“I have patients who have flare-ups like every two, three years, and I have patients who haven’t had a flare-up in a decade,” Yakubov said. “And I have people who are just living with six month-flare ups and it’s impossible to control.”
Does ulcerative colitis cause cancer?
“If inflammation is ongoing and you feel better and you don’t do anything about it but diet, what could happen is that tissue mutates and it turns to cancer,” the doctor said. “People with ulcerative colitis have a 25-times increased risk of colon cancer compared to the general population.”
What are the signs you should go see a doctor?
The doctor said he thinks it’s very helpful that Green spoke out about his condition and offered words for caution for the general public. “Don’t just wait for blood,” Yakubov said. “If you’re having pain regularly and you’re losing weight, go see a doctor.”