Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation and ulcers (sores) in an individual’s digestive tract. It affects the innermost lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. The symptoms of ulcerative colitis usually develop over time rather than suddenly.
Ulcerative colitis can be enervating and even lead to life-threatening complications sometimes. Although there is no known cure for it, treatment can significantly lessen the signs and symptoms of the disease and bring about long-term abeyance. Some of the common symptoms are rectal bleeding, bloody diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, and pain.
Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis can differ depending on the severity of inflammation and where it occurs. Signs and symptoms may include,
Abdominal pain and cramping
Diarrhoea, often with blood or pus
Rectal bleeding — passing minor amounts of blood with stool
Inability to defecate despite urgency
Urgency to defecate
Failure to grow in children
Most individuals with ulcerative colitis show only moderate to mild symptoms. The course of the disorder may vary, with some people having more extended periods of remission than others. Visit our Gastroenterology hospital in Yeshwanthpur, Bangalore to know more about the treatment.
Types of Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is usually classified according to its location. The types of ulcerative colitis include:
Proctosigmoiditis - I,flammation is in the rectum and sigmoid colon, which is the lower end of the colon. Symptoms include abdominal cramps and pain, bloody diarrhoea, and an inability to move the bowels despite the urge to do so (tenesmus).
Ulcerative proctitis - Inflammation is confined to the area closest to the anus (rectum), and rectal bleeding may be the only sign of the disease.
Pancolitis - This type often affects the entire colon and causes bouts of bloody diarrhoea that may be severe and cause fatigue, abdominal cramps and pain, and major weight loss.
Left-sided colitis - Inflammation extends from the rectum to the sigmoid and descending colon. Signs and symptoms include abdominal cramping, pain on the left side, bloody diarrhoea, and urgency to defecate.
The treatment for ulcerative colitis usually involves either surgery or drug therapy. Various categories of drugs may effectively treat ulcerative colitis. However, the type prescribed to a patient will depend on the severity of their condition. Some drugs might give positive results for some individuals but not so much for others, so it may take time to find a medication that suits a patient properly. It should also be noted that since some of these drugs have significant side effects, the patient must weigh the risks and benefits of any treatment. Book an appointment at our multi-speciality hospital today.
A surgical procedure can put an end to ulcerative colitis and involves removing the patient’s entire colon and rectum (proctocolectomy). The most common procedure performed for this is called an ileoanal anastomosis (J-pouch) surgery. This procedure eliminates the need to wear a bag to collect stool. The surgeon constructs a pouch from the end of the patient’s small intestine. The pouch is then attached directly to the anus, allowing them to expel waste normally. In some cases, a pouch is not possible. Instead, surgeons create a permanent opening in the patient’s abdomen (ileal stoma) through which stool is passed for collection in an attached bag.
Sometimes people may feel helpless when facing ulcerative colitis. Changes in diet and lifestyle may help control these symptoms and lengthen the time between flare-ups. Individuals with ulcerative colitis can eat small meals, limit dairy products, and drink plenty of liquids, to manage the symptoms.