Ulcerative colitis weakens the body to a great extent and may also result in life-threatening conditions. Here you will obtain an overview on the ulcerative colitis symptoms and other aspects of the condition.
Like Crohn’s diseases, ulcerative colitis is also a common form of what is known as the inflammatory bowel disease. It causes chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. In most cases, this condition inflicts injury to the innermost lining of the colon and rectum, occurring in continuous patches. The ulcerative symptoms will be put down in the following, along with its causes. As far as the treatment goes, this condition is incurable. However, signs and symptoms can be managed and reduced appreciably with the help of therapies.
Symptoms that Show Up in Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis may affect different parts of the colon and depending upon the location and severity of the conditions, the symptoms may vary.
The first kind, according to the area affected, is known as ulcerative proctitis. Here, only the rectum suffers inflammation. Symptoms which are indicative of this condition include rectal bleeding, rectal pain and inability to move the bowels in spite of having the urge to do so (known as tenesmus).
When the rectum and lower end of the colon are affected, it is known as proctosigmoiditis. In this case, the symptoms may include bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, pain and tenesmus.
The next kind is known as pancolitis. Here, the entire colon is affected, giving rise to symptoms such as pain, abdominal cramps, fatigue and significant weight loss.
One rare kind of ulcerative colitis, which may turn out to be a fatal one, is known as fulminant colitis. Even this condition inflicts the entire colon giving rise to intense diarrhea, dehydration, shock and severe pain. Complications like colon rupture and toxic megacolon may also occur. In some cases, the left side of the colon may be affected and this is known as left-sided colitis. Pain on the left side is obvious and so are abdominal cramping, bloody diarrhea, severe pain and abnormal weight loss. Apart from all such symptoms, constipation and fever may also occur.
There is no definite evidence of what exactly causes ulcerative colitis. However, there are some speculations around this subject. Doctors believe that when the digestive system is invaded by any class of microorganisms like virus or bacterium, the immune system tries to fight off the invasion. This response of the immune system may be responsible for causing the inflammation of the colon. Even an autoimmune reaction may cause the same. Heredity might also play an important role in passing on the ailment from family to family.
As the condition is incurable, the treatment lays its focus on reducing the inflammation, thus, limiting the trigger of the signs and symptoms, mentioned above. Treatment encompasses use of anti-inflammatory drugs and surgery. The drugs may include sulfasalazine (azulfidine), mesalamine (asacol, rowasa) and olsalazine (dipentum), etc., and corticosteroids. Also, the patient may be prescribed to use immune system suppressors and nicotine patches. Other than these, antibiotics, antidiarrheals, pain killers and iron supplements. If use of such medications and changes in lifestyle and diet do not help in reducing the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, then the patient may be recommended to opt for a surgery. It usually involves the removal of the entire colon and rectum (proctocolectomy). Record says, about 25 – 40% of people eventually require the help of surgery.
Being aware of the main symptoms of ulcerative colitis helps in taking up measures before time and this helps in preventing the condition from worsening further. Do not ignore any of these symptoms and get yourself diagnosed in time to avoid severe complications.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.