Leo Treyzon, MD -  - Gastroenterologist

Leo Treyzon, MD

Gastroenterologist & Clinical Nutrition Specialist located in Cedars Sinai Medical Towers, Los Angeles, CA

Ulcerative Colitis Specialist

As one of Southern California's leading gastroenterologists, Dr. Treyzon is skilled in the latest advances in the diagnosis and treatment of ulcerative colitis, helping patients from the Cedars Sinai Medical Towers, Los Angeles, CA, area relieve painful symptoms and prevent permanent tissue damage.

Ulcerative Colitis Q&A

by Leo Treyzon, MD


What is Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic, recurring disease of the large bowel. The large bowel (colon) is the 5 to 6 foot segment of intestine that begins in the right-lower abdomen, extends upward and then across to the left side, and downward to the rectum. It dehydrates the liquid stool that enters it and stores the formed stool until a bowel movement occurs.

When ulcerative colitis affects the colon, inflammation and ulcers (or sores) form in the lining of the colon. The disease may involve the entire colon (pancolitis), only the rectum (ulcerative proctitis) or, more commonly, somewhere between the two.

What Causes Ulcerative Colitis?

The cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown. Some experts believe there may be a defect in the immune system in which the body’s antibodies actually injure the colon. Others speculate that an unidentified microorganism or germ is responsible for the disease. It is probable that a combination of factors, including heredity, may be involved in the cause.

Who Develops Ulcerative Colitis?

The disorder can occur in both sexes, all races, and all age groups. It is a disease that usually begins in young people.

What are the Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis?

The disorder typically begins gradually, with crampy abdominal pain and diarrhea that is sometimes bloody. In more severe cases, diarrhea is very severe and frequent. Loss of appetite and weight loss occur. The patient may become weak and very sick. When the disease is localized to the rectum, the symptoms are rectal urgency and passage of small amounts of bloody stool. Usually, the symptoms tend to come and go, and there may be long periods without any symptoms at all. Usually, however, they recur.

How is Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosed?

Diagnosis of ulcerative colitis can be suspected from the symptoms. Certain blood and stool tests’ are performed to rule out an infection that can mimic the disorder. A visual examination of the lining of the rectum and lower colon (sigmoidoscopy) or the entire colon (colonoscopy) is always required. This exam typically reveals a characteristic pattern. Small, painless biopsies are taken which show certain features of ulcerative colitis.

What Complications Does Ulcerative Colitis Cause?

Most patients with this disease respond well to treatment and go about their lives with few interruptions. However, some attacks may be quite severe, requiring a period of bowel rest, hospitalization, and intravenous treatment. In rare cases, emergency surgery is required. The disease can affect nutrition causing poor growth during childhood and adolescence. Liver, skin, eye or joint (arthritis) problems occasionally occur, even before the bowel symptoms develop. Other problems can include narrowing and partial blocking of the bile ducts which carry bile from the liver to the intestine. Fortunately, there is much that can be done about all of these complications.

In long-standing ulcerative colitis, the major concern is colon cancer. The risk of developing colon cancer increases significantly when the disorder begins in childhood, has been present for 8 to 10 years, or when there is a family history of colon cancer. In these situations, it is particularly important to perform regular and thorough surveillance of the colon, even when there are no symptoms. Analysis of colon biopsies performed during colonoscopy can often predict if colon cancer will occur. In these cases, preventive surgery is recommended.

What Treatment is available for Ulcerative Colitis?

There are several types of medical treatments available:

  • Steroids, such as Prednisone—These powerful drugs usually provide highly effective results. A high dose is often used initially to bring the disorder under control. Then the drug is tapered to low, maintenance doses, even to a dose every other day.
    These medications are given by pill, enema or intravenously during an acute attack. In time, the physician will usually try to discontinue these drugs because of potential long-term, adverse side effects.
  • Other Anti-inflammatory Drugs—There are increasing numbers of these drugs available. They can be given by pill or enema. The generic and trade names of some of these drugs are sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), olsalazine (Dipentum), mesalamine (Asacol, Pentasa and Rowasa) and balsalazide (Colazal).
  • Immune System Suppressors—An overactive immune system is probably important in causing ulcerative colitis. Certain drugs such as azathioprine (Imuran), 6-MP (Purinethol), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), and methotrexate (Rheumatrex) suppress the immune system and at times are effective. Newer medications such as Remicade and Humira are also used with good results.

Diet and Emotions

There are no foods known to injure the bowel, However, during an acute phase of the disease, bulky foods, milk, and milk products can increase diarrhea and cramping. Generally, the patient is advised to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet with adequate protein and calories. A multiple vitamin is often recommended. Iron may be prescribed if anemia is present.

Stress and anxiety may aggravate symptoms of the disorder, but are not believed to cause it or make it worse. Any chronic disease can produce serious emotional reaction in the patient. This can usually be handled through discussion with the physician. There are excellent support groups available in most communities. The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation is one of them (www.ccfa.org).

Surgery

Surgery may be needed at some time during the course of ulcerative colitis that does not respond to medical therapy. In ulcerative colitis, removing the colon cures the disease. Depending on the patient’s age, gender, and other medical conditions, there are several approaches the surgeon uses to remove the colon and reattach the remaining bowel.

Summary

Most people with Ulcerative Colitis disease lead active lives with few restrictions. Although there is no known cure for the disorder, it can be managed with present treatments. For a few patients, the course of the disease can be more difficult and complicated, requiring extensive testing and therapy. Surgery sometimes is required. In all cases, follow-up care is essential to treat the disease and prevent or deal with complications that may arise.

Insurance Accepted

Here is a list of just some of the plans we accept, please contact our office if you have any questions.

Aetna
AFTRA
Anthem Blue Cross of California
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Cigna
Director's Guild (DGA)
Health Net
Medicare
Motion Picture Industry Health Plan
Oscar Health Insurance Co.
United Healthcare
Writers Guild
Testimonials

Words from our patients

  • "I couldn't wait to log onto Yelp to give him a much deserving review. He is fantastic!"

    Helen S. - Yelp
  • "I'm amazed at how caring and helpful Dr. Treyzon is. It all started with an email inquiry to his receptionist Amie (who is also very kind and quickly replies to email)."

    Neirreth J. - Yelp
  • "Dr. Treyzon is one of the absolute best doctors I've ever been to. He's got a great bedside manner, he is intelligent, honest, listens and is an all around great guy."

    Beth Q. - Yelp
  • "Dr. Treyzon is one of the only doctors I've ever met that truly listens to his patients and doesn't give up on figuring out what's wrong."

    H.H. - Yelp
  • "Dr. Treyzon is one of the most responsive and thorough doctors I have dealt with. I've seen 5 different gastroenterologists across CA and MA, Dr. Treyzon is the best..."

    Matt M. - Yelp
  • "Dr. Leo Treyzon is an extremely intelligent, likeable and dilligent doctor. He is always on the cutting edge of the latest treatments and technologies."

    Sean S. - Yelp
  • "Great doctor. Great crew. Cannot recommend more highly!"

    J. Marvin C. - Yelp
  • "He is kind, doesn't rush me, listens to my concerns, and is systematic in his diagnoses."

    Mrs. S. - Yelp
  • Dr. Treyzon actually spent an incredible amount of time researching my rather arcane issue and then came up with a creative and innovative solution."

    Baruch T. - Yelp
  • "My OB-GYN referred me to Dr. Treyzon, and I have to say, he was absolutely wonderful."

    Julie S. - Yelp
Location
Leo Treyzon, MD
8631 W. 3rd St., #1015-E
Cedars Sinai Medical Towers

Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: 424-275-6585
Fax: 424-488-7156
Office Hours

Get in touch

info@treyzonmed.com
424-275-6585

Leo Treyzon, MD
8631 W. 3rd St.
#1015-E
Los Angeles, CA 90048