Colitis is one of the most common types of inflammatory abdominal diseases. The disease affects the colon and rectum. Ulcerative colitis disease causes inflammation and wounds (ulcers) along the inside layer of the colon. The lower section of the colon and rectum are always affected most by this disease. At chronic stages the disease can destroy the colon completely. Ulcerative colitis can affect anybody whether young or old, with most cases of the disease reported among people less than 30 years.
There is a milder version of colitis that leads to abdominal pains, bloating, severe weight loss, and inability to absorb nutrients from foods which leads to yellowed skin, lethargy, and lank, dry skin and hair.
Experts are busy looking for causes of the disease. Scientist believes that the disease is caused by overreaction of the immune system due to normal bacteria along the intestinal tract. The disease is hereditary therefore you need to check the history of your family lineage so as to seek medical attention in advance
Symptoms of the disease include:
- Bleeding of the rectum
- Diarrhea which ranges between 10 to 20 intervals a day
- Stomach pain
- Lack of appetite
- Weight loss
The disease can result into other problems like liver disease, joint pain and eye problems. The symptoms differ according to people. Some people may go for many months without symptoms while others experience them within a very short time.
When you visit a hospital, the doctors will inquire for the symptoms, conduct a physical examination and then several tests. Testing enables the doctor to reject other diseases which have related symptoms, such as Crohn’s disease.
Tests that can be done may include:
A colonoscopy. This will help identify problems specifically at the colon lining.Blood tests, to look for inflammation.Stool sample test to check blood, white blood cells and infections.
The disease affects everybody in different magnitudes. Your physician will assist you get treatments that ease your signs and symptoms. If the symptoms are insignificant, then you may only need to take over-the-counter tablets for diarrhea. Always conduct your physician before taking these drugs.
Many patients require prescription drugs, like aminosalicylates or other medication that boost the body’s immune system. Some patients find that some food worsens their symptoms. If this is the case with you then you have to totally avoid these foods. You must eat healthily to maintain your weight and to strengthen your body’s immune system.
In case you are experiencing chronic symptoms so that the medication doesn’t assist you; then you might require a surgery to get rid of your large intestine. This will cure ulcerative colitis and prevent the cancer of the colon.
If you have been suffering from this disease for more than 8 years then you are at higher risk of contracting colon cancer.
Ulcerative colitis is hard to contract and suffer from without being noticed. At the initial stage, it may look like you want rush to the toilet more than often. This is embarrassing especially if you are not aware that you are suffering from the disease .anytime you are facing a difficulty then seek moral support from friends, a counselor or family members.
Treatments for Colitis:
Treatment for colitis can depend on what the cause is. As there is no cure as of yet, the aim of treatment is to relieve pain and stabilize patient’s vital signs.
- Diet – diet is extremely important when trying to alleviate the symptoms of colitis. Some people may find that particular foods or food groups bring on their symptoms while others won’t notice any difference between foods. Regardless, sufferers should avoid eating greasy or fried foods, milk or milk products, and some high-fiber foods.
- Medication – meds can be used to ease ulcerative colitis and help to heal and reduce inflamation of colon tissue. It can also help to reduce the frequency with which someone’s symtpoms might flare up. There are several different medication options available, all depending on the specific patient’s condition.
- Surgery – again, this is for ulcerative colitis. While medication is only successful on about 66% of patients, some have to undergo surgery to alleviate their pain. There are 2 different surgery options: The removal of the colon and rectum which leads to the use of an external stoma through which waste is removed into a pouch. The second option is creating an internal pouch that is attached to the small bowel and the anal sphincter muscle. This option also calls for the removal of the colon.
Home Treatments for Colitis:
- Unfortunately, a colitis diagnosis means that you will be reliant on either medication, surgery, or a carefully planned diet for the rest of your life. While it depends on the severity of your condition, there are no ‘natural’ remedies or home treatments that will cure your colitis. Some people find that reducing stress and physical exercise can help to alleviate symptoms but there are no remedies unfortunately.
If you think you are exhibiting colitis symptoms you should contact your doctor to see what the best form of treatment is for you.
Featured Image Source: Thinkstock/ruigsantosPosted on May 5, 2023