Ulcerative colitis is a severe disease that affects the large intestine.
Coincidently, the large intestine plays a major role in the absorption of food and water. Hence in this condition, the large intestine’s lining becomes inflamed. Consequently, small open sores start to develop and these are referred to as ulcers.
It usually occurs due to the body’s overreactive immune response. But the real question on everyone’s mind is whether or not a treatment is available.
What are the most common causes of ulcerative colitis?
This is a condition that involves the large intestine. On most occasions, it occurs due to your own body’s mistake. But what is that mistake?
We all have been blessed with good immune systems. On rare occasions, your body can make a mistake and attack its own tissue. As a result, your body’s white blood cells start attacking the lining of the large intestine. Consequently, this action leaves large holes, in the form of ulcers.
Believe it or not, doctors aren’t too sure why it occurs in the first place either. Coincidently, there is research-based evidence that explains the role of genetics in the disease.
Source: Scientific Animations
Common risk factors involved
Can you prevent it? While the answer isn’t a big yes, some risk factors are involved. At the same time, when people with the disease avoid risk factors, they’re actually reducing the chances of flare-ups. Hence, they include the following:
- Ethnicity- people arising from Ashkenazi Jewish descents pose a higher risk
- Age- most common age groups involved are 15 to 30 years as well as those above 65 years
- Family history- people with strong family histories for the disease are at greater risk
Common symptoms associated with the condition
One of the most common symptoms is blood in the stool.
With that being said, there are a number of other symptoms worth a glance. They include:
- belly cramps
- frequent tendency to pass stool
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- mouth ulcers
- skin sores
- joint pain
- difficulty in looking at a bright light
- painful bowel movements
How does the condition differ from other GIT diseases?
While ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disorder that involves the largest intestine, it’s not the only one.
Many people ask what is the difference between this disease and two other commonly occurring ones, called irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease? So let’s take a quick look:
- Firstly, this disease is limited to your large intestine and its lining.
- On the other hand, Crohn’s disease causes irritation in the large intestine as well as other areas of the digestive system.
- Coincidently, irritable bowel syndrome has symptoms similar to ulcerative colitis.
Hence, you can think of it as a disease that affects the muscles present inside the intestines.
In short, it doesn’t cause ulcers or inflammation.
Is there any treatment for the disorder?
While medical science is still on the search for proper treatment, many physicians treat the condition via two main objectives.
- Diet- A number of foods can make your symptoms worsen.
- Medicine- Doctors usually prescribe a mixture of drugs to help treat it. This includes antibiotics, drugs that reduce inflammation, drugs that reduce immune actions on the colon, and those used to treat diarrhea.
Surgery- on rare occasions, the condition gets complicated.Consequently, patients may need surgery, if other forms of treatment don’t work. The surgery usually involves the removal of the colon or both the colon and the rectum.
This is a medical disorder that requires attention. If not treated on time, the symptoms can flare-up. Additionally, it may lead to complications.