Ulcerative colitis: All you need to know
Today, I'll be discussing on one critical disease condition that is rarely known, Most persons come down with it as a result of an underlining infections in the colon. Its an auto immune disease which can persist through out a person's lifespan. It's called ulcerative colitis.
What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease characterised by the irritation and inflammation of the large intestine(colon), leading to the formation of ulcers in the epithelial lining of the colon.
Ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune disease, it's similar to IBS and arises when the immune system is compromised and begins to attack it own self as a result, leading to inflammation of the colon.
Causes of ulcerative colitis
The white blood cells are the body's internal defence mechanism. They protect the body against invading pathogens from food source, air, objects or from any other sources that could be harmful to the body.
When the immune system is compromised, these white blood cells starts to attack the epithelial cells of the colon, mistaking them for invading pathogens, and subsequently, damaging the colon's lining, leading to inflammation and onset of ulcers in the bowel.
In addition, there are some predisposing factors associated with ulcerative colitis, some of them includes;
Family history: Just like other chronic disorders like diabetes, cancers, crohn's disease, etc, family history plays a role in the manifestation of ulcerative colitis. Persons whose close relatives have this disease, have a higher chance(about 30%) of coming down with this condition.
Age: Age also plays a role. Ulcerative colitis is most likely to occur between the ages of 15 and 30, and at a more older age of 60 anf above.
Environment: the environment one stays in, can contribute to the manifestation of this disorder. People of the Ashkenazi Jewish descent are more prone to this, considering the environment they reside in. Its also common in the urban areas of northern and western Europe as well as America.
Other factors like air pollution, excessive consumption of capsicum, certain medications, etc, can also contribute to the onset of the disease.
Ulcerative colitis are categorised based on their location in the colon, as well as it severity. They include;
Ulcerative proctitis: this is the mildest of all the types. It occurs only in the rectum(part of the colon closest to the anus). It's only symptom is rectal bleeding.
Proctosigmoiditis: this happens at the lower portion of the colon and the rectum. Its symptoms includes; abdominal cramps, pain, inability to pass out stool, and bloody faeces.
Left sided colitis: It occurs at the left side of the abdomen, causing abdominal cramps, loss of weight, as well as bloody diarrhea.
Pancolitis: This is the chief of them all, it affects the entire colon, causing severe cramps, fatigue, loss of weight, pains, etc.
Acute severe ulcerative colitis: This particular type type is somewhat rare, it's hardly heard of. It however, also affects the entire portion of he colon causing symptoms like fever, bloody stool, diarrhea, fatigue and weight loss.
Some of the signs and symptoms includes;
- Anemia(inadequate red blood cells in the body)
- Bleeding and pains in the bowel
- Blood in the stool
- Canker sores
- Severe abdominal pains
6 Feeling of tiredness
- Frequent dehydration
- Feeling of heaviness in the colon
- Skin sores
- Inability to hold on stool for long.
Ulcerative colitis can be diagnosed by employing the under listed technique.
Blood test: This test can effectively show if one is anemic or not. This can help establish the advent of the disease, together with other symptoms.
Colonoscopy: This involves the insertion of electro device into the colon which will allow the entire colon to be viewed.
Sigmoidoscopy: This is the insertion of a bendable tube into the colon, via the anus. This tube carries illuminator that will enable the doctor view the internal area.
X ray: x rays are use to scan the colon and record its visuals in a film. This piece is then viewed thereafter, to ascertain the state of the colon.
There are some general procedures employed in the management of this condition. They include;
Diets: not all diets are to be taken when one is diagnosed of this disease. Soft bland foods are often preferred over spicy and strong meals. Foods containing enough vitamins like veggies are also preferred during this condition.
Medication: Some medications use in the management of of this disorder includes; antibiotics, acetyl salicylic acids, corticosteriods, biologics, immuno modulators, anti diarrheas, and Janus kinase inhibitors.
Surgery: surgery is always the last resort when all other managing procedures ain't working. The type of surgery often carried out, is known as colectomy (i.e, the removal of the colon).
Ulcerative colitis is a very fatal and rare disease condition. Its not a death sentence though, There are some reputable and famous individuals who have had this disease and still recovered. One notable name is Dwight D. Eisenhonev, the 34th president of the United states of America.
Thanks for visiting my blog, I'll be back with another interesting disease condition.
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