Inflammatory bowel disease is a collection of chronic intestinal bowel problems that can become fatal if not properly treated. It is a long term disorder which usually is more prevalent in young adults, ages of people 19 to 40 years. The exact cause is unknown, but a major process found in the pathology of this disorder suggests an autoimmune mechanism.
Autoimmune means the body’s immune system is attacking the body’s organs. Inflammatory bowel disease is made of two specific conditions: Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis.
We at Mayor Boss want to show you some of the conditions that may be responsible for blood in your stool. After reading this article, it is advisable to see a doctor for a proper check-up to determine the cause and treatment options.
What is Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is the chronic ulceration of the large intestine. Your large intestine is made up of the cecum, ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon, rectum, and anus in that order. The rectum and anus are usually grouped together with the large central intestine because diseases that affect the colon tend to attack them as well. The layers of the large intestine are mucosa – submucosal and muscularis propria – subserosa – serosa. Ulcerative colitis does not in any way affect the small intestine. Therefore it does not cause small intestine obstruction. Colonic obstruction and abdominal mass is a rare occurrence.
The disease is threatening with complications of different severity like bleeding, rupture of the intestinal wall as well as causing of colon cancer.
Here are ulcerative colitis symptoms
- Gross blood in the stool
- Tenesmus (continual recurrent feeling to evacuate the bowels)
- Frequent diarrhea
- Presence of mucus/pus in the stool
- Occasionally feeling feverish, muscle ache and tachycardia (fast heartbeat)
- Weight loss
- Flare-up of joint pain and mouth ulcers
- Itchy red eyes with swollen skin
- Bloating and flatulence
Diagnostic methods of Ulcerative Colitis consist of full blood count, stool sample, flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, biopsy, and CT scan
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disorder and can take a longer time to manifest symptoms. Some patients do not develop symptoms that are specific to ulcerative colitis until a severe complication is detected. Untreated ulcerative colitis is life-threatening, some of the
Complications of Ulcerative Colitis are:
- Massive bleeding
- Bowel rupture
- Colon cancer
- Perforated colon
- Dermatitis and arthritis
- Toxic megacolon (rapid swelling of the colon)
Ulcerative colitis causes
Triggers and factors that cause ulcerative colitis:
- Genetic factor( researchers has found out that 1 in 4 people who have ulcerative colitis has a family history of it)
- Autoimmune factor
- Air pollution and certain medications have been linked to triggering ulcerative colitis in some patients
- Race: prevalent in caucasian descent
Ulcerative colitis treatment
- Lifestyle Modifications: quite alcohol consumption
- Aminosalicylates(5-ASAs): taken orally, suppository and through enema
- Corticosteroids (prednisolone)
- Immunosuppressant (azathioprine, ciclosporin, infliximab, adalimumab, tofacitinib)
If conventional therapy fails, surgical treatment is recommended.
- Colectomy: it has been shown to cure ulcerative colitis. The removal of the ulcerative colon prevents reoccurrence. Unlike Crohn’s disease, where surgery does not prevent reoccurrence.
- Proctocolectomy(surgical removal of the rectum and part of the colon)
Diet for ulcerative colitis
With ulcerative colitis, the diet should be protein, including all the necessary balanced nutrition and vitamins. This can be lean meat and boiled fish, salmon, boiled eggs, Instant oatmeal, cheese, fruits, avocados, yogurt, berries, and drink plenty of water. It is necessary to exclude dairy products.
Fun facts about inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Cigarette Smoking has been shown to lower the inflammation in ulcerative colitis. Therefore it aids healing of the ulcerated colon.
- Autoimmune destruction of the intestinal lining is the primary factor in Inflammatory bowel disease.
- Surgery is helpful in ulcerative colitis but not in Crohn’s.
- IBD Treatment plan should always have an immunosuppressant as part of the regimen to follow.