Ulcerative colitis is a disease that causes inflammation and ulcers in the lining of the rectum and colon.
Ulcerative colitis can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms are similar to other intestinal disorders. Each person experiences ulcerative colitis differently, so treatments may vary.
Drug therapy may be used to maintain remission and to improve the quality of life for those with ulcerative colitis. Even though some people have long periods of time when the symptoms go away (remission), most patients’ symptoms eventually return.
What causes ulcerative colitis?
The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown, but it is possible that an immune system dysfunction can cause an attack on cells in the digestive system. Family history increases the risk of ulcerative colitis, and stress and diet can make symptoms worse.
Is ulcerative colitis dangerous?
Ulcerative colitis is associated with complications, such as perforation in the colon, an enlarged colon, severe bleeding, extreme dehydration, osteoporosis, blood clots, and inflammation in the skin, joints, and eyes. Ulcerative colitis can also increase the risk of colon cancer. While ulcerative colitis is linked to complications, treatment can make symptoms more manageable and even lead to remission.
How is ulcerative colitis treated?
There are various medications that can treat ulcerative colitis, but the best one for you depends upon your needs. Some medications work well for one person but do not work for another. Anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, and biologics are all options for treating ulcerative colitis. Some people may also take pain medications or anti-diarrheal medications to treat symptoms. In some cases, you may need surgery to remove the rectrum and colon. If you have ulcerative colitis, your doctor will conduct routine monitoring for signs of colon cancer.
- “I started to have abdominal pain, and I noticed blood in my stools.”
- “I had diarrhea so severe that it was waking me up at night, and it didn’t get better with over-the-counter medications.”
- “In addition to stomach pain, my bowel habits changed, and I had unexplained fevers.”