What is ulcerative colitis?

Michael Mauti against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports/WWL-TV)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WWL-TV) – New Orleans Saints linebacker Michael Mauti is out for the rest of the season after doctors told him that he would need surgery for his ulcerative colitis.

People with UC say it’s life disrupting, very isolating, and that few people have an understanding of what you’re going through because it’s a bowel disease that people just don’t want to hear about. They also say they live in fear because they are at much higher risk of cancer.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic disease. People have inflammation and sores in the rectum and colon. It’s a type of inflammatory bowel disease that can mean a lack of control with bowel movements. There are medications that can help the symptoms and people can go into remission at times, but there is no cure.
In fact the only cure is removal of the colon. But the good news is with today’s surgical techniques, people do not have to have a permanent colostomy.

Michael Mauti says he’s been having flare ups for four years, and will now need surgery but did not want to elaborate on what that entailed.

The most common symptoms are abdominal pain and diarrhea. But depending on how severe a flare up is, there can be blood loss, fatigue, weight loss and joint pain.

UC can happen at any age, but it usually starts between the ages of 15 and 30. It is an autoimmune disease, and tends to run in families.

Gastroenterologist Dr. Rian Tanenbaum, who has not treated Michael Mauti, says after surgery people can live full productive lives and he believes Michael could be on the field for next season.

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