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colitis: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Colitis is defined as an inflammatory bowel disorder and is characterised by inflammation in the inner lining of the colon (large intestine) and rectum. The inflammation generally begins in the rectum and the lower part of the large intestine and gradually spreads upward to the entire colon. Colitis hardly affects the small intestine except for the lower part, which is known as the ileum. For a person suffering from colitis, with time as the cells on the surface of the lining of the large intestine die and slough off, ulcers develop resulting in pus, mucous and bleeding. The inflammation of the inner lining of the colon may cause diarrhoea and/or frequent urge for emptying of the colon.

The symptoms of a person having colitis may vary depending upon how severe the inflammations are and where the inflammation occurs. Some of the common symptoms of such a disorder include diarrhoea along with blood or pus, abdominal pain or cramping, loss of appetite, rectal pain, bleeding of rectum, anaemia due to excess bleeding, urgency to defecate, inability to defecate despite urgency, fever, weight loss, weakness and lack of growth in children. A few patients may also experience some indirect symptoms such as skin lesions, inflammation of eyes, osteoporosis, rashes, kidney stones, liver disorders and joint pain. A patient having such symptoms should immediately consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

The diagnosis of patients suffering from colitis involves obtaining the medical history of the patient, physical examinations and a few laboratory tests. A few popular ways of diagnosis are laboratory examination of stool sample, abdominal computed tomography, abdominal X-rays and colonoscopy. Once the severity of the condition and the area of inflammation within the colon is accurately diagnosed, the treatment begins and it includes both medical as well as surgical treatments (if found necessary by the doctor).

How is the treatment done?

The first step for the treatment of the problem of colitis calls for proper diagnosis. Diagnosis of colitis involves laboratory examination of stool sample and imaging studies such as abdominal computed tomography, abdominal X-rays and colonoscopy. Once the severity of the condition and the region of inflammation within the colon are accurately diagnosed, the treatment begins. The problem of colitis is usually treated either by drug therapy or by surgery.

There are several categories of drugs that may prove effective in the treatment of colitis. The type of drug prescribed by the doctor mainly depends on the severity of the condition that a patient suffers from. Moreover, the response of patients to various drugs may also be different and hence it might take some time for the doctor to find out the appropriate medicine that would be effective for a particular patient. In addition to this, it is important for physicians to weigh out the benefits as well as the side effects of various medicines before prescribing them to their patient.

The drugs prescribed by the doctor for the treatment of colitis mainly include anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, antibiotics, anti-diarrhoeal medications, pain relievers (except ibuprofen, naproxen sodium and diclofenac sodium as they tend to worsen the symptoms and increase the severity of the disease) and iron supplements. The common anti-inflammatory drugs used in the treatment of colitis include amino-salicylates and corticosteroids. The immune system suppressors used for treatment are azathioprine, mercaptopurine, cyclosporine, infliximab, adalimumab, golimumab and vedolizumab.

However, in severe cases of colitis, where medical treatment has no effect, the doctors may recommend for surgical treatment. The surgical treatment involves the removal of the entire colon and rectum (proctocolectomy) of the patient. This surgical method is followed by another process known as ileoanal anastomosis where the surgeon constructs a pouch from the end of the patient’s small intestine and attaches it to the anus. This pouch functions similar to rectum and collects the stool of the patient and helps in excreting them out normally.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Any person irrespective of their age and having symptoms such as diarrhoea along with blood or pus, abdominal pain or cramping, loss of appetite, rectal pain, bleeding of rectum, anaemia due to excess bleeding, urgency to defecate, inability to defecate despite urgency, fever, weight loss, weakness due to inflammation of the inner lining of the large intestine or rectum is said to be suffering from colitis and is eligible for this treatment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

People who do not suffer from the symptoms of colitis are considered as not having this disease and are not eligible for such treatment. Moreover, if a patient suffers from serious side effects of a particular treatment of colitis, then the doctor may recommend switching to some other effective form of treatment of the disease.

Are there any side effects?

Like most other treatments, medications used for treating colitis also have some side effects. It is important for a patient to know how to differentiate between the symptoms of colitis and the possible side effects that may arise from its medications. A doctor, who prescribes the medicines for a patient of colitis, must always weigh out the benefits as well as the possible adverse side effects of the medication. Some of the common side effects of the treatment of colitis include headache, nausea, vomiting, fever, rash, loss of appetite, decreased white blood cells, decreased sperm production in males, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and cramps, gas, hair loss, dizziness, kidney problems, weakness, pericarditis, pancreatitis, high blood pressure, weight gain, mood swings, acne, osteoporosis, cataracts, high blood sugar levels, insomnia, lymphoma and others. In case a patient suffers from some serious side effects then he/she must immediately consult a doctor for remedial measures.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The treatment of colitis involves a number of medications and proper diet (mainly fluids and excluding any type of spicy food). Even after the patient recovers from this problem, he/she needs to follow some guidelines given by the doctor in order to stay healthy. The post treatment guidelines to be followed by a patient include taking the medicines regularly on time, having a healthy diet, taking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and practising regular exercises to facilitate proper bowel movements. Even after recovery the patient needs to go for follow-up check-ups on a regular basis as instructed by their doctor. In case, a patient suffers from any side effects during the time of medication then he/she should consult a doctor for its remedy

How long does it take to recover?

The time taken for a patient of colitis to recover from this problem usually varies depending on the seriousness of the condition and the physiological response of the patient to the prescribed medications. Usually cases of mild colitis may take about 3 to 4 days to recover for children and about one week for adults. However, patients suffering from severe colitis may even take 3 to 4 weeks to recover from this condition.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The price of the treatment of colitis in India varies depending upon the seriousness of the condition of the patient and the medication that his/her doctor prescribes. Usually mild colitis can be treated with medicines that can cost as low as Rs. 1300 (for full treatment). However, patients suffering from severe colitis may require costly medications and even surgical treatment (if necessary) and for such treatments the price range can be between Rs. 57,400 to Rs. 7,87,500 in India. This treatment is available in almost all leading hospitals in India.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

It should be remembered that colitis, being an auto-immune disease characteristically has a relapsing-remitting course and this means that there are periods of flare-ups which are then followed by a period of remission. Presently there are no medical treatments for the complete cure of colitis. The medical treatments only tend to lessen the severity of the condition. However, conditions such as inflammation of the bowel, bloody diarrhoea and abdominal cramping can be stopped with surgical treatments.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Although medical and surgical treatments are considered as the best ways to control the conditions of colitis, there are a few alternative treatments as well. The alternative treatments for the conditions of colitis include taking of herbal and nutritional supplements, probiotics, fish oil (although excess consumption of fish oil can cause diarrhoea), Aloe Vera gel, acupuncture therapy and/or turmeric. In addition to this, the patient should avoid consumption of spicy food, dairy products, alcohol, beverages and fibres in their diet. Eating of small light nutrition-rich meals at regular intervals throughout the day, plenty of water and multivitamin supplement helps to recover from this condition.

Safety: Condition Effectiveness: Medium Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: High Side Effects: Medium Time For Recovery: High Price Range:

Rs. 57,400 – Rs. 7,87,500

Popular Health Tips

Post Surgery Care for Ulcerative Colitis

Dr. Jagat Pal Singh 87% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery
General Surgeon, Agra
Post Surgery Care for Ulcerative Colitis
This is a disease that affects the large intestine and the rectum. The Ulcerative Colitis refers to the inflammation in the innermost lining of the large intestine. The main function of the large intestine is to absorb water from indigestible food matter in the body before throwing away any waste. Hence, the large intestine is a vital part of our body. If left untreated, the disease increases risk of colon cancer. Symptoms: Diarrhea with blood or pus: A person suffering from Ulcerative Colitis is likely to suffer from loose stools accompanied with blood or pus. Stomach pain and Cramping: In many cases, patients complain of severe stomach pain and cramping. Rectal pain: At times, many patients feel pain while sitting or even after a bowel movement. Bleeding from the rectum: Bleeding can be observed while passing stools. The other complications leading to this disease are kidney stones, swelling of the colon, thickening of intestinal walls and blood infection. Diagnosis: This disease can be diagnosed by several methods. A simple stool test may be done to check out for bacteria and parasites. A blood test to check the level of C-reactive protein helps determine the inflation rate of the body. Endoscopy, colonoscopy, biopsy are some other methods of diagnosis. Treatment Oral medication: Treatment involves drug therapy or surgery. The first step in treating Ulcerative Colitis will be an intake of anti-inflammatory drugs, but these may have a side effect. Another option is immune system suppressors, which help to bring down the inflammation by suppressing the immune system response. Antibiotics, anti-diarrheal medications, pain relievers are some of the additional drug supplements recommended by doctors. Surgery: Surgery plays an important role because this disease is pre-malignant in nature. Depending on the severity of the condition, the medical practitioner may advice surgery. The common methods of surgery are: Proctocolectomy and Ileostomy: Proctocolectomy involves removal of the colon in part or whole. Ileostomy is carried out by placing a special bag in the small intestine to collect waste from the body. Proctocolectomy and Ileo-anal: Ileo-anal pouch is a bag directly created the small intestine and connected to the anus, for diffusing the stools. As colon is removed Ulcerative Colitis cannot re-occur. Precautions after surgery It is very important that the patient takes healthy, sufficient and nutritious food so that bowel movement can be carried out with ease and zero strain. The patient has to restrict lifting of heavy grocery, mowing the lawn, any physical activity that can strain the abdomen and related areas.
1 person found this helpful

Ulcerative Colitis - How Surgery Can Help Manage It?

Dr. Sandeep Jha 90% (336 ratings)
DNB (Surgical gastroenterology, MS( General Surgery), MBBS, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, Diploma in Minimal Access Surgery, Fellow of International College of Robotic Surgeons
Surgical Gastroenterologist, Delhi
Ulcerative Colitis - How Surgery Can Help Manage It?
Ulcerative Colitis is one of the severe and chronic forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) that can throw life in a jeopardy. The condition that mainly affects the rectum and the large intestine can cause severe inflammation, ulceration, and abscess formation. The ulceration or the inflammation of the colon and the rectum left unattended for too long can give rise to deleterious consequences including damage and perforation of the colon, osteoporosis. Various studies also suggest that ulcerative colitis can increase the risk of a person suffering colon cancer. Like most of the IBD, there is no definite cure for ulcerative colitis. The illness is a chronic condition and can flare up or recur at any point in time. Though medications may help to control the damage and the complications triggered by ulcerative colitis, a surgery may be essential in case of Severe damage to the colon. The nonsurgical treatments could do little to improve the conditions. There is an increased risk of colon cancer. Ulcerative colitis has resulted in Toxic megacolon (a life-threatening condition where the large intestinal muscles have dilated with some swelling). There are extreme discomfort and bleeding. Surgeries to deal with Ulcerative Colitis In the case of Ulcerative Colitis, the nature of the surgery depends on the extent to which the colon or the rectum or both have been affected and damaged. In the case of extensive damage with a high risk of colon cancer, the surgeon may perform Proctocolectomy or colectomy Colectomy may involve Removal of all of the colon- Total Colectomy Removal of the diseased part of the colon- Partial Colectomy. Following the excision, the surgeon may carry out necessary rearrangements to reconnect the remaining portion of the colon to the abdomen through an opening known as stroma (the procedure is known as colostomy). In case of Total Colectomy, the small intestine will be connected to the abdomen by a process known as Ileostomy. Proctocolectomy involves the removal of both the rectum and colon to avoid further aggravation. Following the proctocolectomy, the surgeon may carry out Ileoanal Anastomosis (Ileal Pouch-Anal Anastomosis). In this procedure, a pouch is created using a small part of the small intestine. This pouch is then connected to the anus to help in the elimination of the wastes. General precautionary measures to control Ulcerative Colitis Making healthy lifestyle and dietary modifications can go a long way to control ulcerative colitis and the associated symptoms. Spicy foods can worsen the incidence of ulcerative colitis. Enrich your diet with lots of fruits, vegetables (squash, avocados, fish (especially salmon and tuna), meat, dairy products, olive oil, walnuts, flaxseed oil, almonds. Make sure the diet is a low-fiber diet. Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated drinks and beverages, foods high in sulfur content, refined sugar. Research suggests stress and lack of physical activities can aggravate the ulcerative colitis. Mediation and daily exercise can produce fruitful results. Make sure your sleep is not compromised (6-8 hours daily).
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Ulcerative Colitis Diet - Foods To Eat And Avoid!

Dr. Vishal Khurana 89% (19 ratings)
MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Gastroenterology, MNAMS
Gastroenterologist, Faridabad
Ulcerative Colitis Diet - Foods To Eat And Avoid!
Eating good and healthy food always contributes to the overall wellbeing of a person. Same holds true for the patients suffering from ulcerative colitis (UC). Ulcerative colitis patients need certain dietary modification to bring about a change in their condition. Though this condition isn t directly caused by the food but the frequency of flare ups is influenced by the food taken. Below mentioned is the list of foods to eat and avoid. Food to be Consumed Usually, for ulcerative colitis, low fibre and low residue foods are considered the best since they are easy to digest. Here is a list of foods that can be included in the diet: Vitamin D: This vitamin boosts the immune system to fight the risks of ulcerative colitis flare ups. Since the sun is the best source of Vitamin D, it is important that a person gets as much exposure to the sun as possible. Probiotics: Maintain a balance between good and bad bacteria of the gut which in turn alleviates the symptoms of this condition. Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect, which can help alleviate intestinal inflammation caused by ulcerative colitis. Salmon is one of the best sources of Omega-3. Eggs: Eggs are typically easy to digest and offer a number of nutrients which makes them one of the best choices for the patients of UC. Plenty of fluid: People with this condition need to drink extra fluid, as diarrhoea can lead to dehydration. Supplements: Dietary supplements also help in balancing the nutritional needs of a patient. But do consult a And last but not the least there are many anti-inflammatory foods that help in reducing the ulcerative colitis flare-ups include turmeric, cloves, ginger and rosemary. Foods to be Avoided A patient should closely monitor what s/he is eating as the studies have revealed that the symptoms of ulcerative colitis are closely associated with diet. The following list will help you cut off the chances of UC flare ups. High Fibre Food: Are difficult to digest so should be cut off from the diet. It s best to moderate the intake of fruits and vegetables with insoluble fibres. Oily and Fatty Foods: The greasy food can aggravate the symptoms of UC as well as can cause diarrhoea. Spicy foods: Spicy foods may disturb your bowel movements, so it is best to limit the intake of chillies, chilli powder, paprika, peppers etc. Dairy products: Patients of UC are mostly lactose intolerant. So, these patients should avoid dairy products. Seeds and nuts: Seeds and nuts are hard to digest, and it is best to avoid them if you are suffering from ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative Colitis is just a disease which can be avoided by maintaining a proper diet and making few dietary modifications. One should eat smaller meals a few times per days instead of eating large ones.
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Foods To Avoid In Ulcerative Colitis

Dt. Neha Suryawanshi 94% (11386 ratings)
M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management , Post Graduate Diploma In Computer Application, P.G.Diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics , B.Sc.Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Mumbai
Foods To Avoid In Ulcerative Colitis
Foods To Avoid In Ulcerative Colitis
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Ghee - Why It Is An Important Part Of Your Diet?

Dr. Kanwar Samrat Singh 92% (979 ratings)
Ayurveda, Patiala
Ghee - Why It Is An Important Part Of Your Diet?
Desi ghee is a powerhouse of vitamins and fatty acids which promote good health. It is an ancient remedy for cough, cold and soft skin, but in the last few years, the credibility of saturated fats like desi ghee has been in question. There are some people who believe that saturated fats are the bad fats but a recent research and majority of health experts agree that naturally occurring saturated fats present in desi ghee are actually good for your health. Here are 8 amazing health benefits of desi ghee: Builds Strong Bones: Desi ghee is one of the few foods that are rich in Vitamin K, especially Vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 helps the body to utilize essential minerals, including calcium and thus improves bone health and development. Also, the right amount of desi ghee helps eliminate tooth decay. Another function of desi ghee is to keep joints and connective tissues lubricated, increasing flexibility. Immune System Booster: Desi ghee is packed with Vitamin A which helps eliminate free radicals in the body. Vitamin A is linked to the proper functioning of the immune system. That s not all; Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that may help prevent certain types of cancer, especially ulcerative colitis that could otherwise lead to colon cancer. Boosts Energy Levels: Since experts recommend that athletes should use desi ghee as a consistent energy source, we can take the same advice. The fatty acids in desi ghee are quickly processed by the liver and broken into energy. Apart from boosting metabolism and energy levels, desi ghee aids in the body s absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K, which enhance stamina. High Smoking Point: While being processed, desi ghee can endure a higher smoking point compared to coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil. This means that it won't break into free radicals till the temperature rises to 482 Fahrenheit. These villainous free radicals are unstable molecules that create havoc on our health, from premature aging to cancer. So when you consume desi ghee your risk levels of ingesting those villains are extremely low. Improves Digestive Tract: Desi ghee is rich in butyric acid. A study reveals that people with unhealthy digestive tract don t naturally produce butyric acid. Since good digestion is a key to good health, it s essential to incorporate foods rich in butyric acid into your diet to aid digestion. This acid nourishes cells in the intestines, reduces leakage of undigested food particles and aids in the repair of the mucosal wall. Reduces Inflammation: Butyric acid is one of the major fatty acids that the body needs to fight inflammation, especially in the gastrointestinal tract. Patients suffering from ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease or other inflammatory bowel diseases would be adviced to include desi ghee in their diet. According to Ayurveda, gently rubbing desi ghee on cranky joints can help soothe inflammation, lubricate joints and banish arthritis stiffness. Keeps Your Eyes Healthy: The vitamin A present in desi ghee improves eye health and this reduces several eye-related health problems. This powerful antioxidant reduces the risk of macular degeneration and the development of cataract. The fatty acid in ghee augments the body s absorption of this important vitamin as well as other nutrients. Healthier Skin: Desi ghee s natural properties can keep skin moisturized for a long period of time. It penetrates deep into the skin to keep it hydrated; dry skin accelerates premature aging, including wrinkles, fine lines and saggy skin. To avoid this, one can generously massage lukewarm desi ghee on the skin, keep it for 10 mins and take a shower. Regular usage will give you a lasting, glowing skin. So, by now you must have understood that desi ghee is not our foe but a good friend that everyone should have. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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Popular Questions & Answers

I am suffering from ulcerative colitis from last 15 years now and even after visiting the best gastroenterologist in town I yet keep having flares. The elongated medicinal course has damaged my liver too. Can you suggest a natural remedy for the same that would control my situation.

Dr. Surbhi Agrawal 89% (19078 ratings)
General Physician, Nashik
While there is no known cure for ulcerative colitis and flare ups may recur, a combination of treatment options can help you stay in control of your disease and lead a full and rewarding life. Treatment for ulcerative colitis and other IBD varieties is multifaceted and includes the use of medication, alterations in diet and nutrition, and sometimes surgical procedures to repair or remove affected portions of your GI tract. Kindly revert for detailed assessment and guidance.
1 person found this helpful

I have ulcerative colitis. Please sir I want to know my diet plan and about medicine. Now my weight 73.5 and I want to grow up my weight.

Dr. Ankita Gupta 89% (42 ratings)
MD - Gastroenterology
Gastroenterologist, Delhi
If your disease is controlled, you can take normal diet. Take turmeric with milk and water. If disease is not controlled, increase your medicine after consulting a gastroenterologist. contact us for further treatment and life long follow up.
4 people found this helpful

Please suggest Ulcerative colitis natural treatment and how many days it will take to heal?

Dr. Ankita Gupta 89% (42 ratings)
MD - Gastroenterology
Gastroenterologist, Delhi
It depends upon how severe the disease is. Mind disease can be treated naturally but severe disease requires lot of medicine. Use of turmeric is beneficial. Fecal transplant is a promising cure naturally.

What is ulceration of intestine. Is apc a successful procedure? Are solitary rectal ulcer syndrome and ulcerative colitis the same?

Uphi 88% (34 ratings)
Gastroenterologist, Gurgaon
Hello sir, An ulcer in the upper (small) intestine is a raw place or sore in the lining of the part of the intestine that connects to your stomach, yes apc is a successful procedure. No, ulcer syndrome and ulcerative colitis is not same.

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