What You Need To Know About Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease(IBD) that causes inflammation and ulcers (sores) in the digestive tract. Ulcerative colitismainly affects the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum. The symptoms usually develop over time, but can come on abruptly when you eat certain foods.
Ulcerative colitisdoes not have a known cure, but treatment can allow you to live a better life and reduce complications. With time and careful care, you could live without the disease.
Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms
Ulcerative Colitis symptoms vary depending on the severity of the condition. They may include:
- Diarrhea, often with blood or pus
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Rectal pain
- Rectal bleeding — passing a small amount of blood with stool
- There is a strong sensation of needing to go to the toilet, but not being able to.
- Weight loss
With Ulcerative Colitis, most people have mild to moderate symptoms which usually vary in severity. It can be difficult to predict how someone will progress because there are cases where the condition has long periods of remission.
Types of Ulcerative Colitis
Doctors often categorize ulcerative colitis according to its location. Types of Ulcerative Colitisinclude:
Ulcerative proctitis.Inflammation is confined to the anus region and rectal bleeding may be the only sign of the disease.
Proctosigmoiditis.Inflammation involves the rectum and sigmoid colon — the lower end of the colon. Signs and symptoms include bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps and pain, and an inability to move the bowels in spite of the urge to do so (tenesmus).
This is a good example of a symptom:
– Abdominal cramps and pain
This is not a symptom:
Left-sided colitis.Inflammation can extend from the rectum to the descending colon and cause bloody diarrhea, cramping, and pain on one side of your abdomen.
Pancolitis.This type often affects the entire colon and results in bouts of acute, bloody diarrhea that may be quite severe, abdominal cramps and pain, fatigue, and weight loss.
When To See a Doctor
These symptoms could signal a serious condition, so be sure to speak to your doctor if you have any of the following:
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in your stool
- There seems to be no relief from the diarrhea, even when taking over the counter medications.
- A fever lasting more than a day or two is usually considered an unexplained fever.
Ulcerative Colitis isn’t usually fatal, but in some cases it can be. This is a serious condition and some people experience life-threatening complications if they contract it.
Causes of Ulcerative Colitis
The exact cause of Ulcerative Colitisis still unknown. Previously, diet and stress were suspected to be the causes behind this condition, but now doctors know that these factors can either aggravate or make symptoms similar to those of ulcerative colitis.
One possible cause of this condition is an immune system malfunction. When the immune system tries to attack a virus or bacterium, an abnormal immune response can cause the immune system to also attack cells in the digestive tract.
A recent study has shown that heredity may be an important factor in developing ulcerative colitis. The study found that people with this condition and their family members were more likely to have certain genes that protect against inflammation.
Risk Factors of Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative Colitis is an inflammatory bowel diseasethat affects about the same number of women and men. Risk factors for this disease may include:
- Age.Ulcerative Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that usually develops in the early adult years (ages 20-30). However, it can also be developed at any age after the onset of symptoms and some people may not develop symptoms until after age 60.
- Race or ethnicity.Although white people have the highest risk of this disease, it can get to any race. It’s even higher for people who come from an Ashkenazi Jewish descent.
- Family history.The chances of you getting the disease increase if you have a close relative who has it. This could be a parent, sibling or your child.
Complications of Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative Colitis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the colon. The inflammation may be limited to one area of the colon or it may be spread out in patches through the entire length of the large intestine. Ulcerative Colitis is not contagious , but it does include side effects such as rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss.
Medications Used to Treat Ulcerative Colitis
Doctors often recommend 5-aminosalicylic acid, corticosteroids or immunomodulatory drugsfor UC treatment. Corticosteroids have a number of side effects but can only be used short-term. Therapy options for those with UC are varied and often depend on the individual. Biologicsmight be a good treatment plan as they can provide longer relief from symptoms. Most doctors also use infusion therapy as it is effective in providing relief for those with UC. Top 4 medications for UC:
- Simponi Aria
How Does Infusion Therapy Work?
Fast-acting intravenous treatments can provide medical relief for patients in as little as one infusion session. The medicine is administered through an infusion pump that brings the medicine to you at your body’s natural rate of blood flow so it only reaches your heart when you need it. The needle is inserted into your bloodstream and secured with medical tape. Most appointments take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour
Once your treatment begins, your infusion physician will discuss the side effects and answer any questions you may have (and make sure you’re fully prepared!). Superior Infusion Centeroffers a variety of amenities such as blankets and pillows, free Wi-Fi, drinks and recliner chairs. Private rooms are also available upon request.
If Your Doctor Has Recommended Infusion Therapy, Let Us Help You
Superior Infusion Centerprovides a welcoming environment where patients receive medically-prescribed infusion therapy for chronic conditions. Doctors and nurses work hard to make sure you or your patients feel as comfortable as possible during your appointments. Patients are informed of any potential side effects and all their questions are answered before starting treatment. To make the process seamless, we have a Registered Pharmacist on-site after hours to keep the pharmacy open.