For anybody that has dealt with the effects of ulcerative colitis, they know that it can one of the most painful and difficult medical situations to deal with.
Despite the fact that the discomfort may feel like it comes from the intestine, it's actually a breakdown in how the immune system is working. Small organisms that actually help the body with digestion are attacked by an over-vigilant autoimmune system--thereby causing pain.
At some point, if you've experienced the painful symptoms of this condition, you've probably considered surgery--and wondered if it could help you.
Here are some tips to both learn more about this procedure and decide whether it's the right thing for you.
Tip No. 1: Don't Just Get One Opinion
Many people who believe they suffer from ulcerative colitis may actually be suffering from Crohn's disease. Though both have similar symptoms--and both affect generally the same area of the body--they do have some major differences.
The biggest difference is that colitis affects a specific area of the small intestine, while Crohn's afflicts the entire intestinal tract. Because colitis affects such a specific area it makes it a great candidate for surgery.
Because they can both be difficult to diagnose be sure to get numerous medical opinions to certify that ulcerative colitis surgery will benefit you.
Tip No. 2: Exhaust All Options
It's true that ulcerative colitis surgery can provide immediate benefit to sufferers of the disease. Still there are serious consequence from such a procedure, namely the fact that you will probably not have a normal bowel movement again.
Considering this, it's a good idea to try every non-surgical remedy available to you. This includes:
Anti-inflammatories: These include medications like ibuprofen can reduce painful swelling.
Immunosuppresives: Can interrupt the internal damage the body is doing to itself.
Diet: Some people have found dramatic relief by changing their diet.
Tip No. 3: What Kind of Surgery Do You Need?
If nothing seems to have worked then surgery may be the next logical step to bring back a pain-free life.
Generally the procedure comes in 2 forms: small and large intestine.
With the small intestine, diet will have to change but prognosis is usually good for reducing pain permanently.
With the large intestine, it's more of a dramatic event to the body and may require more recovery. But it will be worth it for the relief of pain you'll feel.
Be sure to counsel your doctor that you want to keep as much intestine as possible. This will help you lead a normal, pain-free life. Which is the goal, isn't it?