Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory condition of the colon. This disease belongs to a group of diseases known as (IBD). This is a group of diseases that cause inflammation in the digestive tract.
Description of Disease
In ulcerative colitis, small ulcers develop in areas where inflammation has damaged or killed the colonic lining cells. These ulcers usually have been infected and this causes the colon to empty frequently.
This results in cramping abdominal pain and diarrhea. Usually this occurs on a constant basis unless treatment is sought. Due to inflammation and the development of open sores (ulcers) in the large intestine (colon) and rectum could also occur.
Identification of Disease
Ulcerative colitis is identified by where they are located. Extent of inflammation also is a strong determinant of diagnosis. This mostly pertains to rectal inflammation.
Other patients with more severe rectal inflammation may also struggle with rectal pain. They may also feel a sudden urgency defecate and of course they rush to the bathroom.
Another sign of ulcerative colitis is tenesmus. This is a painful urge to move one’s bowels that usually results in no success. Other signs of this condition include inflammation of the rectum as well as the sigmoid colon (one section of the colon).
Either abnormalities of humoral and cell-mediated immunity or generalized enhanced reactivity against intestinal bacterial antigens could be the reason. However, research suggests that ulcerative colitis may result from environmental factors.
It also could the result of an immune system dysfunction or the cause may even be genetic. Each case is individual.
Ages of Sufferers
Ulcerative colitis typically develops in people between the ages of 15 and 30. However, it could also occur in people between the ages of 50 and 70. However, anyone at any age from infants to elderly could develop this problem.
Paths of Treatment
Ulcerative colitis is generally thought of as young person’s disease. Many sufferers of this one type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are only between 15 and 25 years of age.
Treatment for diseases such as IBD can sometimes be challenging, depending upon the age of the individual. The 5-aminosalicylate (5-asa) drugs are used frequently to treat kids with IBD. The same treatments may work on teens, but it may not.
In any case, the drugs mentioned above are often used to treat cases of mild to moderate ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s colitis. They are primarily meant for maintenance purposes, when regularly they can help maintain remission.
Additional drugs that used for treating ulcerative colitis include the following: azulfadine, which has a long history of safe and effective use in adults and Sulfasalazine, which is a combination of two drugs (sulfapyridine and 5-asa, an). These medications may be effective on teens as well as adults.
Possible side effects associated with using some medications used to treat ulcerative colitis include the following:
- Sensitivity to sunlight
- Abdominal pain
Oftentimes people who live in northern latitudes and in urban areas of industrialized countries, are at a higher risk of developing ulcerative colitis. Up to 20% of people diagnosed have a relative with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
A positive family history of this disease being found in 1 in 6 relatives is associated with a higher risk for developing this disease. Smoking is sometimes also a reason people struggle with ulcerative colitis. Too much milk consumption could also aggravate this type of colonic disease.
Works for Most People
For most people, medications can control symptoms and promote healing. The majority of patients need surgery only if they cannot tolerate effective medications.
The medications used to treat ulcerative colitis are intended to eliminate symptoms, prevent future flare-ups, and restore quality of life. For these patients, mayo offers one of the largest colorectal surgery programs in the world.
Surgeons who are at the forefront of performing invasive surgery for ulcerative colitis are the best ones to speak to about this type of treatment. This is a preliminary step to take in the event you wonder if it would be necessary.
It also helps to see a doctor so you are aware of the risks and complications of treatment. You can learn about side effects of medications as well as end results of the surgery if necessary.
Ulcerative colitis patients are at an increased risk for malnutrition. This condition is also associated with other health problems such as the following: arthritis, eye infections, liver disease, skin rashes, blood clots, or gallstones.
No one is sure about the connection between the above disease and the colon, simply because they obviously occur outside the colon. However, this may be one small proof that a clean colon is linked to a strong immune system and a dirty colon causes the immune system to break down.
Furthermore, it is believed that because ulcerative colitis is more common in the developed world, it’s possible that a diet high in saturated fat and processed foods contributes to the disease.
One of the most risky factors of a patient suffering this condition is that he or she may have a higher risk than normal for cancers of the colon and rectum. Therefore, whatever can be done to detect and treat it as soon as possible is recommended.