Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in the colon and rectum.
Although the illness can manifest at any age, it is typically identified in young adults (15–25). The prevalence of ulcerative colitis is found to be similar in males and females.
It's believed that the autoimmune system has a role in causing ulcerative colitis. The immune system, which protects the body from outside invaders, mistakes healthy tissue for harmful invaders and launches an attack.
Location is frequently used by experts when determining how to classify ulcerative colitis. When the inflamed area is localized to the rectum, near the anus, this is called rectal proctitis. Inflammation of the sigmoid colon and the rectum is called proctosigmoiditis. When inflammation spreads from the descending and sigmoid colon to the rectum, a diagnosis of left-sided colitis is made. When the whole sections of the colon can be affected this is called pancolitis.
Depending on the degree of inflammation and the site of infection, people with ulcerative colitis may have a wide range of symptoms. Some possible symptoms are:
Ulcerative colitis can be diagnosed with the use of one or more of the following tests and procedures:
Anti-inflammatory drugs are usually the initial step in treating ulcerative colitis. Including are the following:
Immunosuppressants are drugs that diminish inflammation by decreasing the immunological response; for example, are the following:
Biologics are treatments that target immune system proteins. Examples of these are the following:
Ulcerative colitis symptoms may require extra drugs such as the following:
Surgery is the last resort when medications are no longer viable. Complete colon and rectum removal or proctocolectomy are the procedures doctors usually advise for patients not responding to treatments.
Once ulcerative colitis is under control, precautions should be taken to keep it that way. Some strategies are:
Some foods may make symptoms worse, so they should be avoided. Examples are the following:
NHS Inform (2022). Ulcerative colitis. Retrieved December 26, 2022, from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ulcerative-colitis
Mayo Clinic (2022). Ulcerative colitis. Retrieved December 26, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ulcerative-colitis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353331
Cleveland Clinic (2022). Ulcerative Colitis. Retrieved December 26, 2022, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10351-ulcerative-colitis