Ulcerative colitis is a condition characterized by chronic inflammation and sores in the gastrointestinal tract and is a part of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). There are five types of ulcerative colitis namely: Ulcerative proctitis, proctosigmoiditis, left-sided colitis, pancolitis, acute severe ulcerative colitis.
- Bloody diarrhea or diarrhea having pus
- Pain in abdomen and cramps
- Weight loss
- Pain in rectum
- Rectal bleeding
- Development delay in children
- Urgency to defecate
- Inability to defecate even during urgency.
Exact cause of ulcerative colitis is not known till now. However, it can be due to malfunctioning immune system. During some bacterial infection or viral infection activated immune system sometimes become overactivated and starts attacking body’s own cells in the digestive tract. Some studies shows that this type of inflammatory bowel disease can have a hereditary factor.
Major concerning complications are:
- Intense bleeding
- Perforation in colon
- Eyes, joints or skin inflammation
- Toxic megacolon
- Arteriosclerosis risk increases
Diagnosis of this condition depends upon detailed medical history and complete general physical examination of patient. Other tests and investigations include:
- Blood test
- Stool analysis
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy
- CT scan or MRI
- Computerized tomography (CT) enterography and magnetic resonance (MR) enterography
Treatment options include:
- Medications are prescribed such as: 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA), Corticosteroids, immunomodulator drugs [Azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran) and mercaptopurine (Purinethol, Purixan), Cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), ofacitinib (Xeljanz)]
- Some biologics are also used in treatment like Infliximab (Remicade), adalimumab (Humira) and golimumab (Simponi), Vedolizumab (Entyvio).
- Proctocolectomy surgery is sometimes needed for treatment.
- Limit the consumption of triggering food like fatty food or food having fibers
- Eat small meals
- Be active and exercise regularly.
- Use fish oil as it is anti-inflammatory