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Ulcerative Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that creates discomfort in people who suffer from the condition. Ulcerative Colitis affects the immune system, stomach, and gut. The condition also causes inflammation and sores along with the digestive system.
The condition is a rare condition with fewer than 200,000 cases each year. This is why there is not a lot of information about inflammatory bowel disease.
Causes of Ulcerative Colitis
The root cause of this condition is unknown! While there is some speculation, researchers have not found a link between the people who have this condition. Since it is rare and relatively new to doctors, there isn’t a lot of information. This is changing though each day as new studies are released.
For the speculations, some researchers believe that Ulcerative Colitis occurs because of a person’s hard diet and lifestyle. For instance, they are eating too many spices, oil, and other substances that are difficult to digest.
In some cases, the immune system attacks the digestive tract seeing it as a foreign object or virus. This inflames the digestive tract and causes pain and ulcers. There are also a few risk factors. For instance, this condition typically develops in adults younger than 30 years old and also older than 60 years old. The exact cause of this is also unknown.
There is another theory that this condition is inheritable. However, not all people with Ulcerative Colitis have a family history of inflammatory bowel diseases.
Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms
- The symptoms for this condition in both adults and children include:
- Acid reflux
- Throwing up
- Blood in the stool (often in children
Diagnosing Ulcerative Colitis
How do you diagnose this rare condition? There are many tests that doctors can perform. Usually, they start by taking a Blood test to check for enough oxygen cells or infections that can cause inflammation to the digestive tract. Once any underlying conditions are ruled out, doctors can then do an endoscopic procedure. The main procedure that is often used is a Colonoscopy. During this procedure, a medical professional inserts a Tube with a camera inside the patient’s body to see the entire colon. With the camera, they look for any ulcers or abnormalities in the digestive tract. The last and final test they make is a tissue sample, which is typically taken during a colonoscopy. The small tissue sample is taken directly from where the digestive tract is inflamed or the ulcer. It is sent back to the lab for testing. Once there is a diagnosis, the doctor and patient can then form a treatment plan.
Treating Ulcerative Colitis
Unlike other conditions, this one cannot go away forever with medication and management techniques.
The medications that are taken include Anti-inflammatory drugs that reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. This soothes symptoms and targets the main cause.
Another medication is an Immune system suppressor, which is for people with immune systems that are triggering inflammation. It is important to take immune system suppressors, which also help with inflammation and nausea.
Patients can also manage their condition with lifestyle changes at home. These changes, however, do not necessarily cure the condition; it only soothes the symptoms providing a higher quality of life. Management techniques that work well include changing the harsh diet into one with a lack of sodium, processed foods, and spices. These are all types of food that create flare-ups and more pain. Spicy food using peppers and hot sauces can continue to inflame the digestive tract because of the ulcers along the digestive lining. To prevent further damage, patients should refrain from eating acidic and harmful food.
- Are people with Ulcerative Colitis at risk for any other health conditions? Sadly, yes. As Ulcerative Colitis worsens and progresses, there is potential for the disease to produce health conditions like colon cancer. Researchers found a link between ulcers and colon cancer, especially for those who have lived with this condition for over eight years.
- Can you have other symptoms than in the digestive tract with Ulcerative Colitis? Yes. The symptoms and pain do not only target the digestive tract. Some patients with this condition have suffered from joint pain, blood clots, and depression. The ulcers may also spread with time.
Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment, always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!