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Ulcerative Colitis - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Last Updated: Jan 30, 2020

What is Ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is an IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). Inflammatory Bowel Disease comprises of a group of illnesses that affects the GI (Gastro-Intestinal) tract. Ulcerative colitis happens when the lining in the colon or bowel (large intestine) and the rectum gets inflamed.This inflammation on the GI tract, produces tiny sores known as ulcers on the whole lining of the colon. These ulcers generally develop in the rectum and then spreads upward. Ulcerative colitis rarely affects the small intestine.

This inflammation on the GI tract, causes the bowel to move its contents rapidly and empty frequently. Due to this disease as the cells on the surface of the bowel lining dies, it causes ulcers. These ulcers also often cause bleeding and discharge mucus and pus.Ulcerative colitis can affect people of all ages. However, it’s more common in people who are between 15 and 30 or between 50 and 70.

What are the early symptoms of ulcerative colitis?


Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease and it causes permanent inflammation & ulcers in the digestive tract. The innermost lining of the colon and rectum are affected by it. Ulcerative colitis symptoms gradually develop rather than suddenly. The inflammation makes to move the contents rapidly and empty the bowel frequently. The ulcer causes bleeding and mucus, pus discharge. 15-35 years people are mostly diagnosed with it. The common and early symptoms of ulcerative colitis are :

  • Bloody stools
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain and increased abdominal sounds
  • Malnutrition & weight loss
  • Rectal pain and fever
  • Decreased appetite and nausea
  • Pain in joints and swelling
  • Mouth sores and skin issues

What are the causes of ulcerative colitis?

Till today, the exact cause of ulcerative colitis is not clear. In the past, though researchers were of the opinion that stress is one of the major causes of this disease, but reports suggest that it is an autoimmune disorder. However, the condition may involve the following factors :

  • Genetics: It is reported that about 1/5th of people with ulcerative colitis seem heritable, i.e. any of the close relatives are affected by the condition.
  • Environmental: The environmental factors such as air pollution, diet, cigarette smoke, poor hygiene seem affecting the onset of ulcerative colitis.
  • Immune system:Ulcerative colitis may be the result of a hyperactive immune system. Still, it is not clear that’s why some immune systems respond by attacking only the large intestines and not other organs.
  • What is the treatment for ulcerative colitis?

    Ulcerative colitis, for the most part, includes the prescriptions and surgeries. There are many categories of drugs involved in its treatment and they are advised based on the severity of the condition. Usually, corticosteroids that include prednisone and budesonide are commonly advised for moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. Immunomodulator drugs such as Azathioprine, Cyclosporine, and Tofacitinib are prescribed to mitigate inflammation.

    Biologics such as Vedolizumab, Infliximab, Adalimumab, and Golimumab are also prescribed to treat the condition. The patients should be carefully monitored when administered in these medicines as they develop lots of side effects. Removing entire colon and rectum (proctocolectomy), Ileoanal pouch and Ileostomy are performed in ulcerative colitis. The patients are required to often undergo screening for colon cancer because of the increased risk.


    What are the risks of ulcerative colitis?

    The dangers of ulcerative colitis run from an absence of supplements to deadly seeping from the rectum. Some of them are:

    1. Toxic megacolon: It occurs in a few cases of ulcerative colitis. In this condition, gas gets caught and turns the colon to grow. During this condition, risks of septicemia, colon rupture, and shock are noted.

    2. Colorectal cancer: At the point when the indications are extreme, they increment the danger of creating colon malignant growth. Men with ulcerative colitis have a higher danger of colon malignancy than ladies.

    What are the ways for the prevention of ulcerative colitis?

    Despite the fact that ulcerative colitis can't be avoided, preventive measures can be taken to diminish or kill the side effects. Patients should consume plenty of water and taking multivitamins will improve to balance the nutritional absorption. Patients should consult with dieticians for proper food management.

    Although pressure isn't straightforwardly engaged with the condition, it provenly affects the stomach related system. The condition also leads to emotional problems like using frequent bathrooms that might cause severe anxiety, depression, and social isolation. Gentle exercise, for example, strolling will help in decreasing pressure. Yoga, reflection, and spellbinding can help in diminishing muscle strain and moderate pulse.

    What is a good diet for ulcerative colitis?

    An individual with ulcerative colitis may discover to adjust the eating routine intend to deal with the manifestations. Since every individual is different, the meal plan also varies for each. Because of the manifestations, various types of diets are prescribed. Increasing dietary fiber, low-salt diet, the lactose-free diet may help the patients according to their symptoms. Alcohol, coffee, soda, raw fruits, and popcorn are found to worsen the condition.

    Eatables including cabbage, spicy foods, dairy products, and broccoli are certainly to be avoided. The people with ulcerative colitis should consume small meals with frequent intervals. If the condition is severe, bland foods are advised to reduce stomach discomfort. Nutritional attention is essential as the symptoms of diarrhea and rectal bleeding can lead to electrolyte imbalance, nutrients loss, and dehydration.

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    Written ByDr. Goma Bali Bajaj Diploma in geriatric,MBBS,MEM,Diploma In GeriatricGeneral Physician
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    Reviewed ByDr. Bhupindera Jaswant SinghMD - Consultant PhysicianGeneral Physician
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