Ulcerative Colitis

This inflammatory, often chronic disease affects the mucosa and submucosa of the colon.  It usually begins in the rectum and sigmoid colon and often extends upward into the entire colon (colon:  which is the name for the longer part of the large intestine, extends up from the cecum along the right side and then bends to extend across the abdomen to the left side).  It rarely affects the small intestine, except for the terminal ileum (ileum join the large intestine through another muscular valve called the ileocecal sphincter).

Severity ranges from a mild, localized disorder to a fulminate disease that may cause a perforated colon, progressing to potentially fatal peritonitis and toxemia. This disorder occurs primarily in young adults, especially women. It's also more prevalent among Jews and in higher socioeconomic groups.

Risk factors include a family history, bacterial infection, allergic reaction to food, milk, or other substances that release inflammatory histamine in the bowel, over production of enzymes that break down the mucous membranes, and emotional stress. Auto immune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, hemolytic anemia, may heighten the risk.

Symptoms:

Recurrent bloody diarrhea and asymptomatic  (showing or causing no symptoms) remissions are characteristics of ulcerative colitis.

May contain pus and mucus in the stools.

Spastic rectum and anus
Abdominal pain
Irritability
Weight loss
Anorexia
Weakness
Nausea and Vomiting

Your doctor may order:
A barium enema
Biopsy
Sigmoidoscopy
Colonoscopy
Stool specimen may be cultured and analyzed 
Lab works

Treatments:

Goal; to control inflammation, replace nutritional losses and blood volume, and prevent complications.

Drug therapy to control inflammation

Supportive treatment: bed rest, IV fluid replacement and clear liquid diet.

Surgery is the treatment of last resort if the patient has toxicmegacolon, fails to respond to drugs and supportive measures, or finds symptoms unbearable.

* Call your doctor if you are experiencing the above symptoms promptly.

Latest Article: Ulcerative Colitis

This inflammatory, often chronic disease affects the mucosa and submucosa of the colon.  It usually begins in the rectum and sigmoid colon and often extends upward into the entire colon (colon:  which is the name for the longer part of the large intestine, extends up from the cecum along the right side and then bends to extend across the abdomen to the left side).  It...

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