Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that creates long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in the digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis influences the innermost lining of the colon and rectum. Symptoms of ulcerative colitis typically improve over time rather than suddenly. Ulcerative colitis can be debilitating and can often produce life-threatening problems. While ulcerative colitis has no known cure, treatment can significantly minimize the signs and symptoms of ulcerative colitis and even bring about long-term remission.
Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis symptoms can differ, based on the severity of inflammation and where it arises. Signs and symptoms may consist of:
1) Diarrhea disease sometimes with blood or pus
2) Abdominal pain and cramping
3) Rectal pain
4) Rectal bleeding passing a small amount of blood with stool
5) Urgency to defecate
6) Inability to defecate in spite of the urgency
7) Weight loss
8) Fatigue uneasiness
10) In children, failure to grow
Most people have nominal to moderate symptoms of ulcerative colitis. The course of ulcerative colitis may differ, with some people having long periods of remission.
Types of Ulcerative Colitis
Doctors sometimes classify ulcerative colitis according to its location. Types of ulcerative colitis contain:
1) Ulcerative proctitis: Inflammation is limited to the area closest to the anus, and rectal bleeding may be the only sign of the disease. This form of ulcerative colitis tends to be the mildest.
2) Proctosigmoiditis: Inflammation includes the rectum and sigmoid colon. Signs and symptoms include bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps and pain, and an inability to move the bowels despite the urge to do so.
3) Left-sided colitis: Inflammation expands from the rectum up through the sigmoid and descending colon. Signs and symptoms involve bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and pain on the left side, and unintended weight loss.
4) Pancolitis: Pancolitis sometimes influences the entire colon and causes bouts of bloody diarrhea that may be serious, abdominal cramps and pain, fatigue, and significant weight loss.
5) Acute severe ulcerative colitis: This rare form of colitis influences the entire colon and causes acute pain, profuse diarrhea, bleeding, fever, and inability to eat.
Ulcerative Colitis Causes
The proper cause of ulcerative colitis remains is not known. Previously, diet and stress were suspected, but now doctors know that these factors may aggravate but do not cause ulcerative colitis.
One possible reason is an immune system malfunction. When the immune system tries to fight off an invading virus or bacterium, an abnormal immune response makes the immune system to attack the cells in the digestive tract, too. Heredity also seems to act a role in that ulcerative colitis is more prevalent in people who have family members with the disease. However, most people with ulcerative colitis cause do not have this family history.
Complications of Ulcerative Colitis
Possible complications of ulcerative colitis involve:
1) Serious bleeding
2) A hole in the colon
3) Serious dehydration problem
4) Liver disease
5) Osteoporosis disease
6) Inflammation of the skin, joints, and eyes
7) An increased chance of colon cancer
8) A rapidly swelling colon
9) Increased likelihood of blood clots in veins and arteries
Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosis
The doctor will likely diagnosis ulcerative colitis after ruling out other possible reasons for the signs and symptoms. To assist confirm a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, you may have one or more of the following tests and procedures:
1) Blood examine
2) Stool sample
5) CT Scan
Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis treatment typically involves either drug therapy or surgery. Many categories of drugs may be beneficial in treating ulcerative colitis. The type you receive will depend on the severity of the condition and location. The medicines that work well for some people may not work for others, so it may take time to search for a drug that helps you with the treatment of ulcerative colitis.
1) Immunomodulator medicines
3) Other medicines