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Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic, debilitating and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the innermost lining of large intestine (colon) and rectum, and can lead to life-threatening complications. It causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers (sores) in the digestive tractthat produce pus and mucous. This combination of inflammation and ulceration can cause abdominal discomfort and frequent emptying of the colon.
What are the Causes of Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative colitis was previously suspected to be caused by diet and stress but researches have confirmed that they can be aggravating factors but don’t cause ulcerative colitis. Still the exact cause of ulcerative cause is not known and following factors are considered to be the contributing factors:
Immune system malfunction
Hereditary
Mid-30s but may occur later too
Race or ethnicity especially whites and people of Jewish heritage
Isotretinoin use
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis vary from patient to patient and majorly depend on the severity and location of inflammation. The signs and symptoms may be mild to moderate and include:
Diarrhea, often with blood or pus
Abdominal pain and cramping
Rectal pain
Rectal bleeding or blood in stool
Urgency or inability to defecate
Loss of appetite
Weight loss
Fatigue
Fever
In children, failure to grow
Tests and diagnosis
The diagnosis of ulcerative colitis usually involves ruling out other possible causes of the signs and symptoms. So physician performs a thorough physical examination of the patient after taking his complete history. To help confirm a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, one or more of the following tests and procedures is required:
Blood tests
Stool sample
Colonoscopy
Flexible sigmoidoscopy
X-ray
Computed tomography (CT) enterography
Magnetic resonance (MR) enterography
Chromo endoscopy
Treatments and drugs
Ulcerative colitis do not have a known cure, but treatment can greatly reduce signs and symptoms of the disease and even bring about long-term remission.
Drug therapy: Following medicines can very well control the symptoms of ulcerative colitis:
Anti-inflammatory drugs like Aminosalicylates, Corticosteroids
Immune system suppressor???slike Azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran) and mercaptopurine (Purinethol, Purixam) etc.
Antibiotics
Anti-diarrheal medications
Pain relievers
Iron supplements
Surgery: Surgery is rarely required and proctocolectomy i.e. removal of entire colon and rectumis performed by the surgeon to eliminate ulcerative colitis.