While stress and certain foods do not cause ulcerative colitis, these factors may trigger UC in certain people. And while we don’t yet know how to prevent UC, there are steps you can take to prevent setting off flare-ups related to the disease. In this video, Dr. Holly Atkinson explains ulcerative colitis treatment options and how you can keep your flare-ups to a minimum.
She explains that you should try to avoid pain medicines, but if you really need one, acetaminophen is usually fine to use. The first line of treatment or type of medication for ulcerative colitis is usually an aminosalicylate or 5-ASA compound. This treatment option is most often used in people with mild to moderate UC.
Corticosteroids can be prescribed to treat flareups when 5-ASA does not work, but they are not meant to be longterm treatments. As a result, people usually take a short course of the corticosteroids and then go back to taking 5-ASA long term.
The next class of drugs, immune modifying drugs, are used in patients who don't respond to other treatments. They can also be used to reduce the dependence of steroids, but it can take several months before any improvement is seen.
Lastly, biologic therapy may be used alone or in combination with other medications. Biologic medications work by blocking or interfering with the inflammatory processes. When this or the other treatment options fail, surgery may be recommended. In any case, the two main goals of UC treatment are to end symptoms and prevent those symptoms from coming back.