An Upset Stomach Could Be More Serious than You Think

As we age, stomach issues become more and more apparent. We pay more attention to how we feel after meals and find certain foods may trigger some very undesirable side effects.  While this is a common occurrence, it is advisable to take these signs seriously as they may be signals of a larger problem.  If antacids do not help stomach flare-ups or they occur too often, it may be time to seek a doctor’s care to be sure that the cause isn’t ulcerative colitis.

Ulcerative Colitis is a disease in which the large intestine and rectum suffer from inflammation.  There is a difference between colitis and ulcerative colitis.  Ulcerative denotes actual sores or “ulcers” in the colon while colitis refers to the inflammation alone. Some symptoms of ulcerative colitis are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in the stool
  • Abdominal Cramping
  • Weight Loss
  • Fatigue
  • Failure to grow (in children)

The causes of ulcerative colitis are not entirely known. Doctors used to blame stress and diet,  however now it is believed that stress and diet irritate the ulcers that were already present. It has been added alongside other immune system malfunctions and seems to exist in all ethnic groups.

If symptoms persist or wake you in the middle of the night, it is recommended that you see a physician. Treatments include steroids, auto-immune suppressants,  antibiotics, and aminosalicylates. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

Listen to your body and follow up with a physician. A colonoscopy will show if inflammation and ulcers are present in the colon, and then medication and possibly diet changes can help maintain a more pain-free lifestyle.

Posted on behalf of:
David P. Yamini, M.D.
Westside Gastro Care
2001 Santa Monica Blvd #1286
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 285-3005

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