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.
Types of Ulcerative colitis
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Abdominal cramps
- Weight loss
- Sudden urge to poop
- Skin sores
- Loss of fluids and nutrients
- Mucus and pus in the bowels
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.
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.
Ulcerative colitis might also additionally boom the chances of body and mental fitness complications, such as:
- Pores and skin problems
- Eye inflammation
- Liver and kidney problems
- Bone loss
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:
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.
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
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.
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
If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may order a conventional abdominal X-ray to rule out major problems such as a perforated colon.
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 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.
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:
|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.