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Colitis Specialist

Richard Firshein, D.O. -  - Integrative Medicine

Firshein Center

Richard Firshein, D.O.

Integrative Medicine & Family Medicine located in Manhattan, Upper East Side, NY

Inflammatory bowel diseases, including colitis, affect approximately 1.6 million people in the United States, a number that continues to rise. If you count yourself among this group, Dr. Richard Firshein at the Firshein Center is a leading expert on digestive issues. Dr. Firshein has extensive experience helping patients on the Manhattan of Upper East Side find relief from colitis, using an integrative approach that focuses on how the gut biome interacts with the body as a whole. To learn more about this innovative approach to colitis, call or use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.


What is colitis?

Colitis is also called ulcerative colitis and refers to an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation and ulcers in your intestinal tract. The condition typically affects the lining of your large intestine, or colon, and can travel as far as your rectum. Colitis usually develops early, before the age of 30, but it can come on later in life. The disease affects white people more than most races, as well as anyone with Ashkenazi Jewish lineage.

What are the most common symptoms of colitis?

The most common signs that you may have colitis include:

  • Abdominal and/or rectal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in your stool
  • Inability to defecate
  • Weight loss

These symptoms can come and go, at times causing great discomfort while, at others, they’re hardly noticeable. In children, this condition can be quite serious, hampering their ability to grow normally.

What causes colitis?

Medical experts believe that colitis is caused when your immune system mistakenly attacks the food you eat, the beneficial bacteria in your gut, and your intestinal tissue. This, in turn, causes the inflammation and ulcers in your colon. Why some people develop the disorder is believed to be tied to genetics and environment, and an existing condition can be further aggravated by stress and diet.

How is colitis treated?

Dr. Firshein focuses on inflammation and how specific nutrients and the gut biome interact with your entire body. This top-down approach allows him to not only treat your symptoms, but also to help you find long-term management solutions with precision medicine powered by experience and technology. Since colitis has no identifiable cause, there is no cure for the disease. Still, Dr. Firshein can do much to help you regain a better quality of life.

Treatment for colitis typically includes:

  • Nutritional counseling
  • Nutraceutical therapy
  • Medications to reduce inflammation and help with pain
  • Immunotherapy
  • Exercise recommendations
  • Relaxation and breathing techniques to battle stress
  • Acupuncture

Dr. Firshein may start you off with a nutritional detox to clear your body and start over with a diet that precludes any foods that may exacerbate your colitis.

If you’re struggling with colitis, call the Firshein Center, or request an appointment using the online scheduling tool.