Ulcerative colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease which affects the innermost lining of your digestive tract especially the large intestine and rectum. If you are suffering from ulcerative colitis for a long time then you are intended to develop ulcers and pus.
The main causes of ulcerative colitis are yet unknown. Immune system malfunction could be one of the causes of ulcerative colitis. The malfunctioning immune system attacks the cells of its own digestive tract trying to fight against invading bacteria.
Hereditary: It is more common in people who have a family member being suffered from ulcerative colitis, though there are some individuals who don’t have a family member being suffered from ulcerative colitis and they have been a part of it.
Sex: It doesn’t spare any sex, it affects both males and females equally
Age: Ulcerative colitis usually begins before the age of 30 though it can occur at any age some people are only affected after the age of 60
Family History: If any of your family members like your parents, siblings, uncles or aunts are suffering from ulcerative colitis you are more likely to be affected with ulcerative colitis.
Symptoms Of Ulcerative Colitis:
The most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis are:
- Loosening of stool with evidence of blood.
- Severe abdominal pain and
- Great urge to pass stool (tenesmus).
Other than these there are a few symptoms which are witnessed in ulcerative colitis, they are as follows:
- Decreased appetite
- Loss of weight
- Rectal pain
- Emotional stress
- Skin Lesions
- Joint pains
- Eye inflammation
- Liver disorders
Ulcerative colitis may present with some of the above-mentioned symptoms. In almost half of the patients who are suffering from ulcerative colitis, the presentation is in a mild form. After months or years of remission may separate flare-ups. In the most severe cases, the patient may experience bleeding, severe abdominal pain and may require removal of the colon (colectomy).
Types of Ulcerative Colitis:
There are four types of ulcerative colitis
a) Ulcerative Proctitis: The inflammation is mainly at the rectum, it is of the milder type having few complications about 30% of the patients suffer from this type of ulcerative colitis
b) Proctosigmoiditis: This type of colitis affect the rectum and lower segment of the colon
c) Left-sided Colitis: In the most severe condition the inflammation may extend from rectum to the bend in the colon under the stomach
d) Pan Ulcerative Colitis: It is the most severe form of ulcerative colitis affecting the whole of colon ultimately requiring colectomy.
When to see a GI:
- Loose stools when not responding even after taking medication
- Weight loss even with no changes in diet
- Fever of unexplained origin lasting for more than 3 days
- Lower abdominal cramps
- Bloody stools
How is this condition treated:
A. Colonoscopy with Ileoscopy: It helps us to visualize the interior of the intestines and take their biopsy. Endoscopy along with other diagnostic procedures can differentiate Crohn’s disease from ulcerative colitis in more than 85% of patients. The frequency of detection of granulomas varies from 15-36% of endoscopic biopsy specimens.
B. Flexible Sigmoidoscopy : This procedure gives us an adequate diagnosis when performing colonoscopy is considered high risk. It gives you a useful information regarding IBD.
C. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy(EGD): It helps in evaluation of a patient with IBD. In 13% of patients, an upper gastrointestinal tract is involved whereas in 40-68% of patients duodenal biopsy shows granulations. In ulcerative colitis, there is gastrointestinal inflammation with diffuse duodenitis.
D. Capsule Endoscopy: This procedure helps us in visualizing the small intestine mucosa. In a study of the patients, capsule endoscopy shows 83% with high sensitivity and 53% with low sensitivity
E. Endoscopic USG: Transperineal ultrasound and endoscopic ultrasound along with a rigid scope helps us to assess the disease intensity, the presence of any abscess or fistulas.