Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that occurs as a result of long-term inflammation of the rectum and colon. IBD is a collective term used to describe several digestive tracts (GI) disorders.
Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis
People who have been diagnosed with UC may occasionally have minor symptoms or none at all. However, the symptoms could return. This is referred to as a flare-up.
Common symptoms of UC include:
Causes of Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis can occur as a result of an overactive immune system. However, it is not known why certain immune systems attack the large intestine in response, while others do not.
The following are some of the factors that play a role in who develops ulcerative colitis:
When to See a Doctor
After being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, one should see a doctor if he/she begins to experience symptoms such as:
Diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis
The following are tests used in the diagnosis for UC:
Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis
The main objective for treating ulcerative colitis is to relieve symptoms during a flare-up and prevent symptoms from recurring (maintaining remission). In most individuals, this is achieved by taking medicines such as:
Usually, mild to severe flare-ups are manageable at home. However, more serious flare-ups require a visit to the hospital.
Surgery may be necessary if medicines are not effective at controlling one’s symptoms or if the quality of life is significantly affected by the condition. Surgery may involve the removal of some or all of the patient’s bowel (colon).
During surgery, the small intestine may be forced through an abdominal incision called a stoma. This type of surgical procedure is known as an ileostomy. The stoma can be temporary in some situations and can be closed after the gut has recovered.