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What is Colitis?
Ulcerative Colitis is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). It affects the inner lining of the large intestine ( colon ) and rectum, and thus causing inflammation and ulcers. Due to Ulcerative Colitis rectal wall becomes red, swollen, and ulcerated. It can affect either one side of the colon or the entire colon. The disease is commonly diagnosed before age 30, but it can also begin during childhood and later in life.
Symptoms Of Ulcerative Colitis
The symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis vary a lot. They can either start slowly or suddenly. The intensity of inflammation of colon and rectum directly affects the variability of symptoms for this disease.
About half of people have mild symptoms; such patients have inflammation confined to the rectum and a short segment of the colon adjacent to the rectum . It is due to this reason that most times , doctors classify Ulcerative Colitis according to its location.
Common symptoms are:
• Loss of appetite • Fatigue • Anemia • Diarrhoea with blood or mucus • Abdominal or joint pain • Fever for more than two days • Growth failure in children • Abdominal cramps • Urgency to have a bowel
In some of the cases , you might have symptoms in associated parts of the body that may be due to Ulcerative Colitis.
Symptoms arising in other body parts :
• Mouth ulcers • Inflammation in your eyes , skin or joints • Liver disease • Osteoporosis
Treatment Of Ulcerative Colitis :
Not only the effect of Ulcerative Colitis is different in each person, but often their responses to treatment vary. At present there isn't any cure for this disease , without surgery.
The basic aim of treatment is to reduce the inflammation and flare-ups and remedy the nutritional deficiencies. You may typically experience periods of relapse or remission during Ulcerative Colitis. It is vital that you maintain a healthy and beneficial diet during remission to avoid future flare ups as these will increase in intensity as the inflammation worsen.
Colitis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
It is not recommended to have colonic irrigation with inflamed colitis but once the inflammation has been reduced and the bowel is restored, colonic irrigation may help reduce risk of repeat attacks. . Colitis has become a common disease. It is one of those diseases which involve digestion problems. This disease involves a swelling of the intestine. Colitis may not be severe but it can be chronic too. The cause of this disease can also be known as the crohn's disease which is also a bloating of the digestive section from the anus to the mouth.
There are many causes for colitis. These causes decide how the symptoms of colitis are going to happen. Many bacteria normally reside in the colon; they live in harmony with the body and cause no symptoms or problems. The symptoms can include weight loss, bleeding in stools, loss of hunger and pain in the abdomen. The existence of this disease can be revealed through colonoscopy which is the test conducted for the diagnosis of this ailment. The diagnosis can be done by getting the medical past of the patient. Even some kind of physical exams like stool culture can make the doctors know about the existence of colitis.
X-rays and tomography are also done to find out about this ailment. There are various versions of this ailment. The fulminating colitis has different kinds of symptoms which include fever, diarrhea and anemia. Fulminant colitis is any colitis that becomes worse rapidly. This kind of colitis needs to be treated immediately. On the initial treatment no matter what is the cause of colitis the main goal is to rehydrate the patient and make sure to contro lthe pain. People who have developed this kind of colitis can only be cured through surgery. In fact, this kind of colitis can also affect animals like horses. When it affects them, they can die almost within a day. Another kind of colitis is also quite dangerous. It's known by the name of spastic colitis.
This version has similar symptoms as the irritable bowel syndrome. People can take some simple steps to improve their condition apart from consulting a doctor. Such simple steps include daily light exercices. They should also refrain from taking oily foods which can cause inflammation. The consumption of water should be an important part of the diet. The water should be clean and filtered. Drinking more water is necessary because such colitis is accompanied with abdominal pain which can be reduced by taking more water. Consuming holistic supplements is also beneficial. Getting acupuncture treatments can also help.
Due to the varying response of treatment in people , it takes time to find a medication that can help you .
Medication treatment of Ulcerative Colitis includes:
1. Anti-inflammatory drugs
It is the first step in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. The anti-inflammatory drugs used in Ulcerative Colitis are:
i) Corticosteroids It helps in decreasing inflammation throughout the body without direct contact with the inflamed tissue. Corticosteroids also have side effects such as mood swings , high blood pressure , type 2 diabetes , osteoporosis , bone fractures , weight gain , excessive facial hair , cataracts , glaucoma and an increased susceptibility to infections. Due to these side effects the dose of corticosteroids is gradually reduced over two to three months. It is also advisable to use corticosteroids only if you have moderate to severe Ulcerative Colitis.
ii) Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) It is an aminosalicylates that helps in reducing the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis. Some of the side effects that are caused by sulfasalazine are nausea , vomiting , diarrhea , heartburn and headache.
iii) Mesalamine It is used for the treatment of mild to moderately severe Ulcerative Colitis . Mesalamine helps in reducing inflammation in the colon. It has fewer side effects than sulfasalazine and generally more prescribed. Some side effects include: headache , kidney problems and pancreas problems.
The patients with severe Ulcerative Colitis who do not respond adequately to anti-inflammatory drugs are treated through immunomodulators . They help in reducing inflammation by targeting your immune system rather than treating inflammation itself. Some of the immunomodulators used for this purpose are:
i) Cyclosporine It is used to control the symptoms of the disease until less toxic drugs work out. Some of the severe side effects of cyclosporine include kidney damage and fatal infections.
ii) Azathioprine It is also an immunomodulator but its results can be seen slowly after three to four months. Side effects of azathioprine include allergic reactions , infections , and inflammation of the liver and pancreas.
Surgery is performed in those patients whose symptoms cannot be controlled by medication. It is advisable to perform surgery only if both the anti-inflammatory drugs and immunomodulators don't show any sign of improvement.
Ulcerative Colitis surgery usually involves removing the colon and rectum. Surgery to treat this disease involves the removal of the colon and anus. It is done by completely removing your large bowel and the small bowel is operated in such a way that your body is still able to get rid of waste products. A small opening is made in the abdominal wall and the end of the small intestine is attached to the skin of the abdomen to form an ileostomy. There is a bag attached to it for collecting stools. Only about 25-30% of Ulcerative Colitis patients need surgery Patients that require surgery makes up about 25%-30% of the total Ulcerative Colitis sufferers.
Ulcerative Colitis patients can lead a normal quality life based on these treatments. Although such a disease is both physically and emotionally stressful , but you should try to cope with it and keep yourself stress free.