Signs and Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis Explained
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Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disease that primarily affects the colon and rectum. The colon is one of the fundamental parts of the digestive system. The colon absorbs water and sodium from wastes before they exit the body through the rectum.
Ulcerative colitis is similar to Chrohn’s disease, but with slight differences. Unlike Chrohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis occurs throughout the digestive tract.
Although ulcerative colitis can affect any age group, patients whose ages are between 15 to 30 and 50 to 70 are most vulnerable. Ulcerative colitis usually starts at the rectum and eventually propagates to the colon.
Ulcerative colitis is divided into three main groups: ulcerative pancolitis (all of the colon is infected), ulcerative proctitis (the lower colon or rectal area is infected), and distal colitis (only a specific side of the colon is infected).
Although it is not easy to cure for ulcerative colitis, patients can get treatment to relieve and manage the symptoms. The following information shows the common signs and symptoms of ulcerative colitis and treatment options available.
Signs and Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis symptoms vary among patients. The symptoms depend on the age of the patient, severity and location of the inflammations. The following are common ulcerative colitis symptoms:
- Frequent fever
- Abdominal pain
- Frequent diarrhea
- Weight loss
- Rectal bleeding
- Loss of appetite
- Skin sores
- Joint pain
- Frequent vomiting
- Pain at the rectal area
As noted earlier, the symptoms vary depending on where the inflammations are occurring. For example patients who have ulcerative proctitis, which affects the lower colon and rectal area, mostly causes symptoms of rectal bleeding and pain. Fulminant colitis is particularly dangerous and it can cause severe damage to the colon. Call your local health care provider or doctor if you are feeling constant pain in the abdominal area.
Ulcerative Colitis Treatment
There are many treatments for patients. Diet, medications, and surgery are the main types of treatment methods available for patients who have ulcerative colitis.
Treating ulcerative colitis through diet and nutrition invovles eating small increments of food each day, drinking plenty of water, abstaining from fatty food products, and avoiding milk, alcohol, and high fiber foods. Anti-inflammatory drugs are medications often used to treat ulcerative colitis. Sugery is needed some patients. Surgery can help cure ulerative colitis and decrease the chances of getting colon cancer.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Readers who are concerned about their health should contact the office of Dr. Vikram Tarugu for more information.