ulcerative colitis

What is a llcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is a long-term condition characterized by inflammation, tiny ulcers and abscesses in the top layer of the large intestine. It is also called inflammatory bowel disease. 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 inflammation in the rectum or large intestine varies from person to person.

Ulcerative colitis can occur in people of any age, but it usually starts between the ages of 15 and 30. It affects men and women equally and appears to run in families, with up to 20% of people with ulcerative colitis having a family member or relative with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.

Symptoms?

Symptoms typically develop slowly over time. Most people with ulcerative colitis have mild to moderate symptoms with some people having long periods of remission.

The most common symptoms are:

  • bloody diarrhea
    • bloody diarrhea after eating is usually caused by food poisoning
  • pus in stool
  • abdominal pain
  • green stool
  • painful bowel movements
  • skin lesions or ulcers
  • fever
  • hard stool
  • weight loss
  • joint pain
  • eye inflammation
  • failure to grow (in children)

Cause?

The exact cause of is unknown but possible contributing factors include poor eating habits, stress, and food allergies.

How is it 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.

Can you die from ulcerative colitis?

Possibly. If left untreated, ulcerative colitis can be debilitating and can lead to life-threatening complications.  Treatments will be focused on decreasing inflammation, relieving symptoms and preventing complications. The most common treatment options include medication and surgery.

Foods to eat with ulcerative colitis

It is important to keep a daily record of what you eat and what symptoms you experience. This will help you know which foods will worsen or improve your symptoms.

Consider eating:

Complications?

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, cancer can 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

Treatment questions to ask your doctor

  • what is the treatment for my condition?
  • when will the treatment start and how long will it last?
  • what are the benefits of this treatment, and how successful is it?
  • what are the risks and side effects associated with this treatment?
  • are there foods, drugs, or activities I should avoid while I am on this treatment?
  • if my treatment includes taking a medicine, what should I do if I miss a dose?
  • are other treatments available?
  • can CBD oil relieve pain and help me sleep better?

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