What are the treatments for ulcerative colitis?
Both medications and surgery have been used to treat ulcerative colitis. However, surgery is reserved for those with severe inflammation and life-threatening complications. There is no medication that can cure ulcerative colitis. Patients with ulcerative colitis will typically experience periods of relapse (worsening of inflammation) followed by periods of remission (resolution of inflammation) lasting months to years. During relapses, symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding worsen. During remissions, these symptoms subside. Remissions usually occur because of treatment with medications or surgery, but occasionally they occur spontaneously, that is, without any treatment. Medications Since ulcerative colitis cannot be cured by medication, the goals of treatment with medication are to 1) induce remissions, 2) maintain remissions, 3) minimize side effects of treatment, and 4) improve the quality of life. Treatment of ulcerative colitis with medications is similar, thoug