Management & Prognosis of Ulcerative Colitis
Management of ulcerative colitis (UC) requires a good working relationship between the gastroenterologist and the patient. The course of UC can be unpredictable, which is why it is important to see the gastroenterologist, as well as any other needed specialists, on a regular basis for monitoring. Management includes medications that are taken for long periods of time in order to prevent inflammation from returning. Other medications may be added if there is a flare-up of symptoms or of inflammation.
Routine visits with the gastroenterologist as well as regular tests, including blood tests, colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or other endoscopic procedures or imaging studies, may be needed on an ongoing basis. Because patients can have inflammation without symptoms (and vice versa), it is important to keep regular appointments and scheduled tests, even when feeling well.
The prognosis for people with UC is good. UC (and IBD in general) is not considered a fatal condition. Most people achieve remission and are thereby able to keep inflammation at bay and avoid further complications. Preserving quality of life is important to people with UC, which is why a close working relationship with a healthcare team is vital.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Ulcerative colitis. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/ulcerative-colitis. Accessed February 14, 2018.