Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitis

According to Valley Stream gastroenterologist Dr. Bradley Reiders, ulcerative colitis is “an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-lasting inflammation and sores (ulcers) in the innermost lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum.

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are the most common types of inflammatory bowel disease, while ulcerative colitis affects only the colon and rectum. Crohn’s can affect any part of the digestive tract.

Ulcerative colitis affects only the large intestine, causing inflammation and sores (ulcers) in its lining. Though most of those diagnosed with this disease are aged below 30 years old, it can affect people of any age.

Except for the stating the possibility that this disease might be due to the reaction of the immune system to normal bacteria in the digestive tract, medical experts are actually uncertain as to what really causes ulcerative colitis. It is very likely though that you will get it if someone else in your family has it.

The main symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:

  • Belly pain or cramps;
  • Diarrhea; and,
  • Bleeding from the rectum

Symptoms in others can include fever, not feeling hungry, weight loss; in severe cases, a person can have diarrhea 10 to 20 times a day.

The symptoms of ulcerative colitis can come and go. Some may experience a remission for months or years and then they will have a flare-up. About 5 to 10 out of a hundred individuals with ulcerative colitis, though, have symptoms all the time.

Treatment for ulcerative colitis depends on how mild or severe the disease is. Mild symptoms may only require over-the-counter medicines for diarrhea. Others, however, may require prescription medicines to stop or reduce symptoms and prevent flare-ups.

A severe case of this disease, which cannot be remedied by medicine, may require surgery, which will remove the colon. Removing the colon cures ulcerative colitis. It also prevents colon cancer.

 

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