Know Everything About Ulcerative Colitis
Inflammation is the main reason for various health disorders that we undergo during our lifetime. One such health disorder is Ulcerative Colitis. Ulcerative Colitis, also known as UC, is an inflammatory disease of the bowel that affects your large intestine or colon. Those who suffer from UC, experience a lot of irritation due to ulcers, inflammation, and difficult bowel movements. Unlike other health disorders, this one is caused due to an overactive immune system that inflames the rectum, colon, or large intestine.
Let us dig deeper and help you to understand all about ulcerative colitis symptoms, causes, and treatments.
Types of Ulcerative Colitis
UC or Ulcerative Colitis is of three main types:
1. Ulcerative Proctitis
In this type of UC disorder, only the rectum gets inflamed. It is, therefore, regarded as a mild type of UC.
2. Extensive Colitis
Also referred to as Pancolitis, this type of UC inflames the whole of your colon. It is definitely considered the most severe form of UC.
3. Left-sided Colitis
As the name suggests, in this type of UC, a specific area between the last section of the colon and splenic flexure gets inflamed. This form of UC is also referred to as Distal Ulcerative Colitis. Another form of left-sided colitis is Proctosigmoiditis.
Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis may vary from person to person. Moreover, the symptoms may vary from time to time. Some of the common symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis are:
- Weight Loss
- Blood in Stool
- Abdominal Discomfort or Pain
- Abdominal Sounds
- Pain in the Rectum
- Eye Inflammation
- Mouth Sores
- Joint Pain
- Joint Swelling
- Skin Problems
Ulcerative Colitis Causes
The main cause of ulcerative colitis is believed to be an overactive immune system. Yes, this might sound strange, because many diseases and health disorders take place due to a weak immune system, but in the case of UC, it takes place due to an overactive immune system. Some other main ulcerative colitis causes are:
- Family History or Genes: If one of your parents had suffered from UC ever, chances are high that it will be passed on to you in genes.
- Environmental Factors: Besides, environmental factors like antigens, viruses, and bacteria present in the environment may also lead to health disorders like ulcerative colitis.
- Immune Disorders: Third cause of ulcerative colitis is an immune disorder of any type. If you are already suffering from any type of immune disorder, you may suffer from UC too.
Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosis
Ulcerative colitis may be diagnosed through some specific tests. Some of the tests prescribed by doctors to diagnose UC disease are:
- Blood Tests: The most commonly referred test to diagnose ulcerative colitis is a blood test. Through blood tests, your doctor may check on the high levels of C-reactive protein, and other signs of inflammation.
- CT Scan: Other than blood tests, your doctor may prescribe you a CT scan for the pelvis and abdomen to detect symptoms of UC.
- Stool Test: Besides, you may also be prescribed a stool test to check for some stains of blood, parasites, bacteria, and other inflammatory signs.
- Biopsy: Biopsy, as we all know is about getting a tissue sample to check for disease. Here for UC, a surgeon may take a colon tissue sample for testing.
- Colonoscopy: Likewise, in severe cases, a doctor may suggest colonoscopy, where a lighted scope, also known as a colonoscope is inserted into the rectum to check the interior of your colon.
- Endoscopy: This type of testing is done to examine the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine using a flexible tube.
- Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: This is also a type of endoscopy, where a flexible tube is inserted into the rectum to examine the sigmoid colon.
Ulcerative Colitis Treatment
Now, coming straight onto discuss the right and most effective options for ulcerative colitis treatment:
Your doctor may prescribe you medications depending on the type of severity of your infection. In case of mild ulcerative colitis symptoms, you may get medicines to reduce swelling and inflammation like Dipentum, Colazal, Azulfidine, and Asacol. For more than mild symptoms, your doctor may prescribe you medicines like Xeljanz, Stelara, Humira, Simponi, Remicade, and Entyvio. In severe cases, the doctor may prescribe an immunomodulator.
When the symptoms of UC are severe, your doctor will suggest you get admitted to a hospital to recover the loss of electrolytes from the body. Besides, there may also be a need to replace your blood to avoid further complications.
3. Surgery for Ulcerative Colitis
Last option for an effective ulcerative colitis treatment is surgery. However, not all patients of UC are prescribed surgery. Only patients experiencing a severe blockage, perforation of the colon, or experiencing major blood loss are suggested to undergo ulcerative colitis surgery.
The Bottom Line
In a nutshell, ulcerative colitis is a disorder that can be treated to a great extent by modifying your diet in its early stage. You must focus on adding low-fat food items and eat more fiber along with a good Vitamin C quotient in your food. Besides, you can prevent UC by adding psyllium, turmeric, and probiotics, as home remedies. Lastly, try to skip those foods that tend to upset your stomach and may lead to a condition like UC.
1. Are Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease the same?
Many people get confused between Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease. This is because they have similar symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, and cramps. However, they differ in terms of location affected, treatment, and surgery treatments.
2. What does ulcerative colitis pain feel like?
Ulcerative colitis causes belly pain and crampy feeling. The pain, however, may subside once you clear your bowel, but it may recur once again very soon.
3. What foods trigger ulcerative colitis?
Try avoiding the following food items that trigger ulcerative colitis:
2. Spicy Food
4. Unhealthy Food
5. Junk Food
6. Dairy Products
7. Nuts and Seeds
4. Which foods are best for treating Ulcerative Colitis?
The following food items are best for treating ulcerative colitis:
2. Diluted juices
3. Canned fruit
4. Plain chicken, fish, or meat
5. Mashed potatoes