Ulcerative Colitis is a type of a bowel disease in which the lining of the colon and rectum exhibits signs of persistent inflammation. The inner soft tissue develops minute pores constantly discharging mucous and pus resulting in frequent bowel movements and abdominal pain. The systemic functions of the organs are compromised causing discomfort and irritation. A healthy body is protected by a strong immune system preventing infections and discomfort. When Ulcerative Colitis occurs, the immune system’s role is altered. Intestinal debris, food and bacteria are mistaken by the body for invading substances resulting in ulcerations, pain and lingering inflammations.
Most individuals experiencing the disorder are often stricken with frequent fatigue spells, diarrhea, blood in the stool and abdominal pain. The urge to empty the bowel becomes more frequent and is typically followed by pain within the area of abdomen. If the disease is acquired during a young age, it may stunt the development and growth of the child. As the symptoms may go into remission for long periods of time, they are often dismissed as temporary discomfort and may be difficult for medical providers to recognize.
If the existence of Ulcerative Colitis is suspected, other conditions are ruled out first followed by a series of tests and procedures to ensure proper treatment. A blood test is typically the beginning step as it displays the presence of certain antibodies which may indicate the existence of the ailment. Stool samples may be also taken for analysis to confirm the verdict. A colonoscopy is a helpful tool to verify the presence of the disorder, and it typically includes obtaining samples of tissue taken from the colon for analytical study. In some cases, X-rays of the abdominal area may be recommended along with a CT scan to rule out any other medical conditions.
Who is Affected
There is no-known cause for this condition, and no clear pattern of inheritance has been determined. However, the disease has been linked to many genetic predispositions. Studies show that the environment may also play a role in obtaining Ulcerative Colitis in addition to other factors such as a weakened immune system.
Ulcerative Colitis can affect individuals at any age, but it is typically diagnosed around 30 years of age, and it manifests itself in men and women equally. Over 700,000 patients in America are treated annually for this type of ailment. Present research demonstrates that white individuals with European heritage are more likely to be affected, especially those with Jewish origins.
Because the disorder only affects the lining of the colon and anal area, it can be successfully treated by various methods of therapy, including traditional medicine and holistic remedies. Anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to reduce the symptoms, strengthen the immune system and force the illness into long-lasting remission. Complimentary therapies may be recommended along with traditional treatment to accelerate the process. These may include consumption of fish oil, aloe vera, tumeric, probiotics and sessions of acupuncture. Presently, there is no-known cure, but in many cases, the above methods provide substantial relief in discomfort.