Please note prescriptions are only available in Canada and given at the doctor's discretion.
Ulcerative colitis treatment, diagnosis & prescriptions
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Can a doctor treat ulcerative colitis on Maple?
Yes. In some cases, a doctor from Maple will be able to offer an ulcerative colitis diagnosis, but only after ruling out all other possible causes for your symptoms.
Before offering treatment options, the doctor will want you to undergo extensive testing. Once all other possible causes have been ruled out, a doctor from Maple will suggest ulcerative colitis treatment options, including possible drug therapy or surgery.
Can I get a prescription on Maple?
Yes. Our physicians can prescribe medications online during your consultation. Once you accept a prescription, you’ll have the option to pick it up from any pharmacy or to have it delivered to your door at no additional cost.
You can visit our How it works page to learn more.
What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that occurs when your immune system is malfunctioning.
Instead of helping to protect the body as they normally would, white blood cells begin to attack the lining of your colon, causing inflammation and ulcers.
What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
Common ulcerative colitis symptoms include:
- Diarrhea (often including blood or pus)
- Canker sores in your mouth or on your skin
- Rectal pain or bleeding
- Needing to defecate frequently (and sometimes being unable to go)
- Weight loss
- Failure to grow (in children)
Is ulcerative colitis hereditary?
While it isn’t necessarily hereditary, family history of the condition is considered to be one of the most significant ulcerative colitis risk factors.
In other words, while heredity could play a role in developing ulcerative colitis, it isn’t always the case.
What causes ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis causes stem from an error in the body’s natural immune system.
The body starts to recognize food, good stomach bacteria, and the lining of the colon as attackers trying to harm it.
White blood cells are then sent to attack the “intruders”, but because these aren’t actually harming the body, the white blood cells do damage to the healthy systems in those areas instead, particularly to the lining in the colon.
How is ulcerative colitis diagnosed?
An ulcerative colitis diagnosis will usually only be offered after every other cause has been ruled out.
In order to ensure the diagnosis is accurate, the doctor will recommend extensive testing. These tests include:
- X-ray scans
- Stool samples
- Blood tests
- CT scans
- MR enterography
After all other possible causes are ruled out, a doctor from Maple will discuss ulcerative colitis treatment options with you.
Is ulcerative colitis curable?
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for ulcerative colitis, aside from removing the colon and rectum.
However, many ulcerative colitis treatment options are available. These can help minimize negative symptoms and discomfort.
How is ulcerative colitis treated?
The two most common forms of ulcerative colitis treatment involve drug therapy and occasionally surgery.
Drug therapy options usually include ulcerative colitis medications such as:
- 5-aminosalicylic acid (sulfasalazine, mesalamine, balsalazide, and olsalazine)
- Immunomodulator drugs (tofacitinib, cyclosporine, and azathioprine)
- Corticosteroids (prednisone and budesonide – usually only in severe cases)
Surgery can often mean eliminating ulcerative colitis. However, it usually requires a full proctocolectomy, which is a removal of the colon and rectum. This often makes surgery a less desirable option compared to drug therapies, when possible.
For those experiencing this condition, the doctor may also recommend certain ulcerative colitis diet restrictions, to help minimize negative symptoms.
What is the difference between colitis and ulcerative colitis?
While both colitis and ulcerative colitis symptoms can be similar and both conditions affect the colon, colitis is typically caused by infections brought on by viruses or bacteria while ulcerative colitis is caused by a malfunction of the immune system.
Ulcerative colitis is more severe. Moreover, unlike colitis, which can be cured, there’s no cure for ulcerative colitis at this time. If someone develops ulcerative colitis, it’s a lifelong condition.
What is Maple?
With Maple, you can start talking to a doctor about your symptoms in minutes. We’re a healthcare platform for fast, convenient 24/7 access to Canadian doctors.
Simply log in, tap a button to request a consultation, and we’ll immediately connect you to a doctor via live chat or video. You can visit our How it works page to learn more.
Our doctors can assess symptoms and provide treatment, including prescriptions as necessary.
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