Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disorder that leads to inflammation and formation of ulcers in the lining of the large intestine. The condition starts with long term inflammation in the lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum which in turn leads to the formation of ulcers gradually.
The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is not known, but genetic predisposition and stress can increase the risk of ulcerative colitis. Individuals with a compromised immune system are also at the risk of developing ulcerative colitis.
Types Of Ulcerative Colitis
According to the location of ulcers, ulcerative colitis is classified into various types.
It is a mild form of inflammation narrowed to the anus and rectal bleeding is the sign of the disease.
Inflammation in the rectum and lower end of colon, signs include loose stools with blood and abdominal pain.
Inflammation spreads from the rectum through the sigmoid and descending colon. Signs include loose stools with blood, abdominal pain and weight loss.
Inflammation in the entire colon with frequent episodes of diarrhea with blood, fatigue and remarkable weight loss.
Acute Severe Ulcerative Colitis
It is a rare form that affects the entire colon, which can cause frequent diarrhea, fever and lack of appetite.
Ulcerative colitis poses a risk for several other health conditions including dehydration, osteoporosis, colon cancer and clotting in blood vessels.
- Pain in the abdominal region
- Rectal pain and bleeding
- Weight loss
- Defecation problems
- Stunted growth in affected children
- Diarhhea with blood in the stool
- Nausea and loss of appetite
Diagnosis And Treatment
Doctors recommend certain tests and procedures to diagnose ulcerative colitis which include blood tests, stool sample analysis, colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, X-ray, CT scan and magnetic resonance.
Treatment of ulcerative colitis includes medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs and immune system supressors to reduce inflammation.
Depending on the symptoms doctors may also prescribe antibiotics, antidiarrhoeal medication, pain relievers and iron supplements. Severe cases of ulcerative colitis are treated with surgical treatment that removes entire colon and rectum (proctocolectomy).