Learn More About the Effects of Ulcerative Colitis

As an inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition. It causes the lining of the large intestine and rectume to inflame. In addition, sores will form in the lining. This painful sores are known as ulcers. Many people experience symptoms that gradually worsen. They do not just show up quickly. There is currently no known cure, but treating symptoms helps reduce the severity of ulcerative colitis. Symptoms can often be disabling. In some cases, secondary complications can occur and cause serious issues.

Ulcerative colitis can be one of a few different types. The type of colitis a person has is directly related to the location. Pancolitis affects the entire colon. Ulcerative proctitis occurs only in the rectum. Left-sided colitis affects the rectum and left side of the colon. The rectum and lower section of the colon, called the sigmoid colon, are affected with proctosigmoiditis. Each type of ulcerative colitis presents variations and severity in the symptoms that can occur. 

Causes of Ulcerative Colitis

Medical professionals have not found an exact cause for ulcerative colitis. There are, however, many theories about possible causes. Although research is ongoing, there are two factors that may contribute to the development of ulcerative colitis.

The most likely first contributing factor is heredity. Many doctors believe that a family history of ulcerative colitis increases the risk of developing the condition. The genetic link is still being developed and explored through research. 

Another potential factor is the body’s own immune system. In this instance, doctors believe that when the body is working to fight off viral or bacterial infections, the response causes an incorrect immune system attack on digestive cells. Some people have an abnormal immune system that is triggered when there are no foreign invasions. The immune system simple misdiagnoses parts of the body as invaders. 

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis can cause numerous symptoms that can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Common symptoms include diarrhea, pain and cramping, and rectal pain. Less common and more severe symptoms include rectal bleeding, extreme fatigue, weight loss, and fever. Many children with ulcerative colitis may experience growth delays.

Severe symptoms of ulcerative colitis also include reduced appetite, urgency to move bowels, and the appearance of pus or blood in stools. For some sufferers, the ability to move their bowels does not occur despite the feeling of urgency. Abdominal pain or discomfort are common experiences, often related to the inflammation and ulcers.

Treating Ulcerative Colitis

There are several methods that can be used in treating the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Drug therapies can come in oral and anal forms. Many are designed for usage only when symptoms relapse. Surgery is an option that is often only recommended for severe cases of ulcerative colitis that present symptoms that do not respond to other treatments. Severe cases with dangerously severe symptoms may also require immediate emergency treatments, including blood transfusions.

Although ulcerative colitis can be debilitating, symptom relief helps to increase a person’s quality of life. Effective treatment and monitoring often involves utilizing a whole-body approach. In addition to traditional treatments, medical professionals also advise lifestyle and dietary changes as a means of triggering symptom reduction or remission.

Disclaimer: The articles on this website are not meant to encourage the self-management of any health or wellness issue. Nor are they meant to encourage any one type of medical treatment. Treatment or advice used by a reader may have varying results, as each individual is different. Any article reader with a health-related question, is encouraged to seek a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider. The articles on this website should not be used to disregard any medical or health-related advice, nor should they be the root cause for delay in seeing a doctor or a certified health provider.

The articles on this website should not be used to start the use of dietary supplements or vitamins, natural or herbal products, homeopathic medicine or other mentioned products prior to a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider.

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