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INflammatory Bowel Disease

What is a Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative Colitis is a long-term condition characterized by inflammation, tiny ulcers and abscesses in the top layer of the large intestine. The inflammations usually involve the rectum and may extend into the large intestine.

If the inflammation is limited to the rectum, the condition is called ulcerative proctitis. The amount of the rectum or large intestine affected varies from person to person.

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis?

The most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis are:

  • bloody diarrhea
  • pus in stool
  • abdominal pain
  • green stool
  • painful bowel movements
  • skin lesions or ulcers
  • fever
  • weight loss
  • joint pain
  • eye inflammation

Cause of Ulcerative Colitis?

The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown.

How is Ulcerative Colitis diagnosed?

Ulcerative colitis is diagnosed through a procedure called colonoscopy. Colonoscopy is a procedure where a thin, flexible tube with an attached camera is inserted into the colon. The camera will help the doctor examine the colon.

Treatment Options for Ulcerative Colitis?

Treatments for ulcerative colitis will be focused on decreasing inflammation, relieving symptoms and preventing complications. The most common treatments are medication and surgery.

Complications of Ulcerative Colitis?

People who have had Ulcerative Colitis for 8 years or more are at risk for developing colon cancer. People whom more than half of their colon is affected are also at risk for developing colon cancer. Unfortunately, cancercan develop even if symptoms are minimal.

Topics to discuss with your doctor

When you visit your doctor, discussing the following topics will provide information that will help your doctor give you the best treatment possible.

  • frequency of bowel movement
  • blood or mucus in stool
  • level of abdominal pain
  • effectiveness of medication
  • appetite level
  • weight changes

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