The Facts About Ulcerative Colitis

An informative and accurate article about the symptoms, probable causes and treatment of ulcerative colitis.
      The inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) known as ulcerative colitis appears in the large intestine and colon in the form of ulcers or open sores. Crohn's disease, another form of IBD is closely related to ulcerative colitis and has many similarities. Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBD is far less serious and should not be confused with inflammatory bowel disease. Although the cause of ulcerative colitis is currently unknown, enough research has been done to be able to diagnose the issue and provide a broad description of the symptoms, probable causes and treatment options.

        The symptoms of Ulcerative colitis vary based on the severity of each individual case. Some patients will contract proctitis, colitis affecting only the last six inches of the rectum. Only 15% of patients with proctitis progress beyond what is known as a mild case and up to 20% can have sustained remission without any sort of treatment. More extensive cases are less likely to sustain remission and also have a larger infected area that may contain painful sores known as ulcers. Many patients also experience bloody diarrhea and some degree of abdominal pain or cramping, these cramps are sometimes extremely painful. Some patients may also experience tenesmus which is the feeling of having to constantly empty the bowel accompanied with great exertion and little or no results.

       Although researchers cannot pinpoint the exact reason Ulcerative colitiis occurs, there are many hypotheses stemming from genetic and environmental factors. Research shows that families with a history of the disease tend to have proportionally more infected than the general public. Also, 10% of cases that affect identical twins affect both parties involved. Some studies have shown that diet may be a large contributor to the disease, as foods that cause inflammation may encourage the symptoms. Also, breast feeding has been thought of as a possible protectant from the disease and may decrease chances of contraction.

       Since there is a wide range of severity in colitis patients, there is no standard treatment. The goal of treatment is to induce and sustain remission with medication and long term maintenance treatment. First physicians will direct treatment to induce remission and allow the mucusal lining of the colon to heal, then establish a long term prescription to permanently relieve symptoms. In very serious cases of ulcerative colitis an operation that removes the infected intestine and/or colon is the only cure. Severe cases such as these require ample attention due to the life threatening nature of the condition.

       Ulcerative colitis is an uncomfortable and very dangerous condition if not properly cared for. If someone is experiencing symptoms that may be the cause of colitis advise them to see a doctor immediately. Diagnosing the issue is very important to maintain a safe lifestyle that caters to the bodies physical needs. Precautionary measures such as a healthy diet and exercise reduce the risk of contracting an inflammatory bowel disease.


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