Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is caused by the alteration in the response of the immune system. Usually, the immune system attacks the intruders in the body like microorganisms causing the common cold. However, in this case, the immune system considers the food, the cells that line the colon, and the gut bacteria as the intruders and attacks them, which are actually needed for the body. It causes inflammation and ulcers in the inner lining of the colon.

No study shows why this condition is being caused. Genes play a major role and sometimes this condition is caused when the condition runs in the family. Having ulcerative colitis has an increased risk of developing colon cancer.

When not treated properly, this condition can become life-threatening and there is no complete cure for this condition, but the medications can help reduce the symptoms and pain.

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Types of Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative proctitis

This is the mildest form, caused only in the rectum. The bleeding in the rectum may be the only sign of this type of ulcerative colitis.

Proctosigmoiditis

It occurs in the rectum and the lower end of the colon. Blood diarrhea, stomach cramps and the consistent urge to poop are some of its symptoms.

Left-sided colitis

This condition is caused by the inflammation in the rectum, up to the left side of the colon and it causes severe cramps on that side of the stomach. Bloody diarrhea and losing weight without trying are the symptoms of this condition.

Pancolitis

It affects the entire colon, causing bloody diarrhea, severe belly cramps, fatigue, and major weight loss.

Acute severe ulcerative colitis

It is quite rare, but like pancolitis, it affects the entire colon, with heavy diarrhea, severe pain, bleeding, and fever.

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Symptoms of Ulcerative colitis

The most common symptom of ulcerative colitis is bloody diarrhea; some may observe pus in their stools too. This disease belongs to a group of conditions called inflammatory bowel disease(IBD). The symptoms include:


When to see a doctor?

If you suspect that you have ulcerative colitis and are experiencing the following symptoms, you must see a doctor.

  • If severe pain in the abdomen lasts for more than 24 hours, then you should see a doctor without delay. If delayed, it might become life-threatening.
  • During a bowel movement, if you see the blood that is too thick for the bowel.
  • Fever with severe pain in the abdomen.
  • Severe diarrhea with rectal bleeding.
  • Not being able to drink or eat anything for more than 24 hours.

Get treated for this condition from the best Gastroenterologist at Medicover Hospitals.


Causes

The main underlying cause of ulcerative colitis is still unknown, however, it is triggered by an imbalance in the immune response system. The immune system starts attacking its own healthy cells instead of harmful foreign bodies.

The inflammation caused by the immune system makes the white blood cells cause ulcers and sores in the innermost lining of the intestine.


Risk Factors

Ulcerative colitis might also additionally boom the chances of body and mental fitness complications, such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Pores and skin problems
  • Eye inflammation
  • Liver and kidney problems
  • Bone loss
  • Stress
  • Depression

Diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis

The only approach to diagnose ulcerative colitis is through endoscopic procedures with the tissue samples. Other tests can be used to rule out complications or other types of inflammatory bowel disease. Following tests and procedures will help to confirm the diagnosis of ulcerative colitis:

Lab Tests

Blood test

Blood tests may be recommended by the doctor to check for anemia, which is a condition in which there aren't enough red blood cells to provide enough oxygen to the tissues, or to look for symptoms of infection.

Stool test

Ulcerative colitis is diagnosed by the presence of white blood cells or certain proteins in the stool. A stool sample can also be used to rule out other conditions such as bacterial, viral, and parasitic illnesses.

Procedures involving endoscopy

Colonoscopy

Using a thin, flexible, illuminated tube with a camera on the end, your doctor may view your whole colon. Your doctor may also extract small samples of tissue (biopsy) for laboratory study during the procedure. To make the diagnosis, a tissue sample is required.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy

It is a type of sigmoidoscopy that allows you to move The rectum and sigmoid colon – the lower end of your colon are examined with a slender, flexible, lighted tube by your doctor. This test may be used instead of a full colonoscopy if your colon is highly irritated.

Procedures for imaging

X-ray

If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may order a conventional abdominal X-ray to rule out major problems such as a perforated colon.

CT scan

If your doctor feels ulcerative colitis is causing a complication, he or she may order a CT scan of your abdomen or pelvis. A CT scan might also identify the extent of the colon inflammation.

Magnetic resonance (MR) and Computerized tomography (CT) enterography

The doctor may rule out any inflammation in the small intestine, he or she may offer one of these noninvasive tests. These assays are more sensitive than traditional imaging tests for detecting intestinal inflammation. MR enterography is a non-radioactive option.


Treatment for Ulcerative colitis

Drug therapy and surgery is frequently prescribed for treating ulcerative colitis. Several medication classes may be beneficial in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. The type you take will be determined by how serious your condition is. Drugs that help some individuals may not help others, so it may take some time to discover one that works for you. You'll also need to assess the benefits and risks of any treatment because some medications have substantial adverse effects.

Anti-inflammatory medications

Anti-inflammatory medicines are frequently the first line of treatment for ulcerative colitis, and they are effective for the vast majority of patients. These medications include corticosteroids.

Immune system suppressors

These medications lower inflammation as well, but they do so by blocking the immune system response that initiates the process. For some people, a combination of these medicines is more effective than taking just one of them.

Other prescription drugs

Specific ulcerative colitis symptoms may necessitate the use of extra drugs. Before taking any over-the-counter drugs, see your doctor. Medications prescribed are anti-diarrheal medications, pain relievers, antispasmodic, and iron supplements.

Surgery

Ulcerative colitis can be treated with surgery that entails removing your whole colon and rectum (proctocolectomy). A pouch is made from the end of the small intestine by the surgeon. The bag is then directly linked to your anus, allowing you to discharge waste in a natural manner. It is not always possible to use a pouch. Rather, doctors build an ileal stoma (permanent opening in the abdomen) through which excrement is delivered and collected in an attached bag.


Lifestyle changes and self care

When dealing with ulcerative colitis, you may feel helpless at times. However, making dietary and lifestyle modifications may help you manage your symptoms and extend the period between flare-ups.

Irritable bowel disease isn't caused by what you eat. However, certain meals and beverages, especially during a flare-up, can increase your signs and symptoms.

Keeping a food journal might help you keep track of what you're eating and how you're feeling. You might try removing certain foods if you find out which ones are causing your symptoms to flare up. Here are some general dietary recommendations that may aid with your disease management:

Limit your dairy intake

Many people with inflammatory bowel disease find that dairy products cause diarrhea, stomach pain, and gas. You could be lactose intolerant, which means your body can't break down the milk sugar (lactose) found in dairy products. Lactaid, an enzyme supplement, may also be beneficial.

Take small meals

Take five or six modest meals a day than taking two or three larger ones.

Drink a lot of water

Drink enough of water on a daily basis. Do not drink carbonated drinks, it frequently generates gas, while alcohol and caffeine-containing beverages irritate your intestines and can make diarrhea worse.


Do's and Don’ts

A person with Ulcerative Colitis has to follow sets of do’s and don’ts to manage it and related symptoms and risks:

Do’s Don’ts
Eat small meals in a day.Consume more than 2 cups of milk, cottage cheese, pudding, or yoghurt per day
Drink a lot of water and stay hydrated.Consume frozen and processed meats
Take proper rest.Consume raw vegetables with high fibre content.
Some regular exercises or yoga.Consume spicy sauces, pickles, etc.
Take your medications on time.Consume foods and beverages that contain caffeine, cocoa, and alcohol


Care at Medicover Hospitals

At Medicover Hospitals, we have the most trusted team of doctors and medical experts who provide excellent healthcare services to patients with compassion and care. Our diagnostic department is equipped with modern technology and equipment to conduct all the tests required for the diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis, based on which a dedicated treatment plan is designed. We have an excellent team of Gastroenterologists and gastro surgeons who diagnose and treat this condition with utmost precision that brings successful treatment outcomes.


Citations

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2078989/
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/9781444314403#page=241
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1925835/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1552214/

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is ulcerative colitis an autoimmune disease?

Ulcerative colitis is like when your body's defence system, called the immune system, gets a bit confused and starts attacking the inside of your colon and rectum. This causes swelling and other problems in your tummy.

2. What is the ulcerative colitis treatment?

When you have ulcerative colitis, doctors can use medicines to improve the swelling, handle how you feel, and even slow down your immune system. Sometimes, if things are serious, they might even do an operation to take out the part of your colon causing trouble.

3. why do ulcerative colitis occur?

We're still figuring out the exact reason why ulcerative colitis happens. It seems like a mix of things, like genes you inherit, stuff in your environment, and how your immune system works. Sometimes, certain things can set off your immune system to attack your tummy, causing problems.

4. Can ulcerative colitis cause cancer?

Ulcerative colitis patients have a slightly increased risk of developing colon cancer, especially if the disease is long-standing and involves a more significant portion of the colon. Regular monitoring and appropriate medical care can help manage this risk.

5. What is the meaning of ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is a long-lasting problem that makes the inside of your colon and rectum all swollen and sore. It's a sickness where you get ulcers and swelling in these parts of your tummy.

6. What are the ulcerative colitis symptoms in females?

Girls and boys can both have the same signs of ulcerative colitis. This might mean tummy pain, going to the bathroom a lot, bleeding from the bottom, losing weight, and feeling tired. Sometimes, the symptoms might change a bit when girls have their periods.

7. Ulcerative colitis foods to avoid?

Some foods can make things worse if you have ulcerative colitis. Spicy stuff, foods with lots of fibre, dairy like milk and cheese, caffeine, and even drinks with alcohol can be tricky. Making a particular eating plan that works just for you is a good idea. Your doctor can help you with that.

8. Where is the pain located in ulcerative colitis?

Pain in ulcerative colitis can vary, but it's often in the lower abdomen, especially on the left side. Pain might also be accompanied by cramping and discomfort.

9. What is ulcerative colitis radiology?

Doctors sometimes use unique picture-taking methods, like X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, to see how bad the swelling and problems are in the colon and rectum of people with ulcerative colitis. These pictures help the doctors decide how to help you feel better.