Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) characterized by an abnormal immune reaction that leads to inflammation and ulcers on a large intestine's inner lining. People of all ages can develop ulcerative colitis, though the disease is most likely to develop in those between the ages of 15 and 30.
Here’s what you need to know about this disease.
An inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the intestines is Ulcerative Colitis (UC). IBD consists of a group of diseases that affect the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
UC occurs when the inner wall of the colon (also called the colon), the rectum, or both are inflamed.
This inflammation causes a small pain in the inner wall of the colon called an ulcer. Inflammations usually begins in the rectum and spreads upwards. It can affect your entire colon.
Due to inflammation, the intestines move their contents quickly and empty frequently. Ulcers form when cells on the surface of the inner wall of the intestine dies. Ulcers can render bleeding and discharge of mucus and pus.
This condition affects people of all ages, but according to the American Society of Gastroenterology, most people develop UC between the ages of 15 to 30. After the age of 50, generally, in men, the diagnosis of IBD increases slightly.
The severity of UC symptoms depends on the person with the symptoms. Symptoms can also change over time.
People diagnosed with UC may have mild or asymptomatic periods. This is called remission. However, the symptoms may recur and become serious. This is called a flare-up. The common symptoms of the UC are:
UC can cause additional symptoms such as:
Doctors often classify ulcerative colitis based on its location. The types of ulcerative colitis are:
Inflammation is confined to the area closest to the anus (rectum), and rectal bleeding may be the only sign of illness.
Inflammation affects the rectum and sigmoid colon (lower end of the large intestine). Signs and symptoms include bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps and pain, and the inability to defecate despite the urge.
Inflammation spreads downward from the rectum through the sigmoid colon. Signs and symptoms include bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, left side pain, and the urge to defecate.
This type often affects the entire colon and causes severe abdominal cramps and pain, malaise, and bloody diarrhea attacks that can cause significant weight loss.
UC is a chronic disease. The goal of treatment is to reduce the inflammation that causes the symptoms, prevent relapse, and achieve a extended remission period.
The medication you take depends on your particular situation, such as the severity of your symptoms.
For mild symptoms, your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce inflammation and swelling. This will help in relieving many symptoms.
These types of medicines include 5-aminosalicylate (5-ASA medicines), including:
Some people may need corticosteroids to reduce inflammation, which can cause side effects, which is why doctors are trying to limit their use. If you have an infection, you may need antibiotics.
A word from the team—
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis may make some people lose their appetite and eat less, so they may not get adequate nutrition. Consuming a healthy, balanced diet is important if you have ulcerative colitis.
To know further about how to balance your diet for better heart health, contact Corrielus Cardiology right away!
At Corrielus Cardiology, the team values the strong correlation between heart health and overall wellness. The practice aims to educate the community on how good lifestyle choices and routines can help prevent emergency room visits, save money, and build stronger, healthier families.