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Feature Article

Ulcerative colitis: unravelling the uncertainty in diagnosis and management

Soong-Yuan J Ooi, Jane M Andrews

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Abstract

Prompt diagnosis of ulcerative colitis (UC) and timely management of flares are crucial to good patient outcomes. GPs play an important role in identifying new cases, the ongoing management of mild to moderately active UC and also in identifying and referring acutely unwell patients for specialty care.

Key Points

  • Prompt diagnosis and timely management of people with ulcerative colitis (UC) are key to good patient outcomes.
  • An important role for the GP is to identify symptoms of new or flaring UC and to recognise alarm features that should trigger urgent referral to a gastroenterologist.
  • Mild to moderate UC can be safely managed in the primary care setting.
  • Patients with features of severe UC should be urgently discussed with a gastroenterologist.

    Picture credit: © Science Photo Library/Diomedia.com

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