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Ulcerative colitis is the inflammatory bowel disease, causing inflammation and ulcers in the innermost lining of the colon and rectum. This disease can affect anyone but is commonly diagnosed in people of 15 to 30 years old. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition and a life-threatening complication which requires immediate treatment.
Signs and symptoms
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis vary depending on the severity and location of the inflammation. Many people have mild to moderate symptoms which come and go, but few patients experience longer periods of remission. Pain, diarrhea and bleeding from the rectum are the most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis. The other symptoms include:
If any of the above symptoms are seen for longer time, consult the doctor immediately as it is a serious disease which requires immediate treatment.
The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown. Few researchers believe that it is caused by diet and stress. The other causes of ulcerative colitis include:
Ulcerative colitis equally affects men and women. The various risk factors include:
Ulcerative colitis if not treated on time may cause various complications like severe dehydration, hole in the colon, liver disease, bone loss, blood clots in the veins and arteries, and increased risk of colon cancer. Patients with ulcerative colitis for more than 8 years are likely to develop colon cancer.
The doctor first asks about the symptoms and performs physical examination. If ulcerative colitis or any other inflammatory disease is suspected, the following tests are recommended to help confirm the diagnosis.
The aim of treatment is to reduce the symptoms and to avoid remission of the disease. The treatment is different for different people as it depends on the severity and patient condition. The treatment options of ulcerative colitis usually include medications ad surgery.
Surgery is recommended treatment option when medications fail to treat the disease and in people with severe ulcerative colitis. Strictureplasty is the commonly used surgical technique to treat ulcerative colitis is. In this technique, segment of the intestine is widened that has become too narrow. However, the benefits of surgery are temporary.
There is no particular evidence that eating habits cause ulcerative colitis, however, it may aggravate the symptoms. Therefore, making certain lifestyle changes can help manage the condition.
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