Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD comprises a group of diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract. Ulcerative colitis occurs when the lining of the large intestine (colon or bowel) and the rectum become inflamed. This inflammation produces tiny sores called ulcers on the lining of the colon. It usually begins in the rectum and spreads upward. It rarely affects the small intestine beyond the lower portion.
HOW IS ULCERATIVE COLITIS DIAGNOSED?
A General Physician/Gastroenterologist diagnoses Ulcerative Colitis by performing multiple tests such as stool test, endoscopy, colonoscopy, biopsy or barium enema.
HOW IS ULCERATIVE COLITIS TREATED?
Both medications and surgery have been used to treat ulcerative colitis. However, surgery is reserved for those with severe inflammation and life-threatening complications. There is no medication that can cure ulcerative colitis. Patients with ulcerative colitis will typically experience periods of relapse (worsening of inflammation) followed by periods of remission (resolution of inflammation) lasting months to years. During relapses, symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding worsen. During remissions, these symptoms subside. Remissions usually occur because of treatment with medications or surgery, but occasionally they occur spontaneously, that is, without any treatment.
DID YOU KNOW?
UC can happen at any age, but it usually starts between the ages of 15 and 30. It tends to run in families. The most common symptoms are pain in the abdomen and blood or pus in diarrhea.