Ulcerative Colitis

What is ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which is characterized by long term inflammation and ulceration in the gastro intestinal tract where the major parts affected include the mucosal lining of large intestine (colon) and rectum.
Symptoms and signs of the condition will gradually progress with time and may ultimately result in debilitating and long term life risking complications.
Ulcerative colitis is graded based on to which extent the colon is affected by inflammation and could be limited only to the rectum with mild symptoms (ulcerative proctitis) or cover most parts of the colon with comparatively severe symptoms.

Causative agents and risk factors

  • Weak or malfunctioning immunity when the function of immunity system becomes abnormal, it will fight against body’s own tissues (autoimmunity) in addition to external bacteria and viruses. This will eventually destroy the colonic mucosal lining resulting in chronic inflammation.
  • Heredity- Ulcerative colitis is common in families who have several members affected by
  • Gender and age- Ulcerative colitis equally affects women and men who are younger than 30 years of age. But it can arise at any age where there are records of patients who firstly developed symptoms after the age of 60.
  • Ethnicity- Latest research studies suggest that, Ashkenazi Jewish descent individuals are known to be at a high risk for developing ulcerative colitis.
  • Chronic stress
  • Poor dietary nutrients
  • Use of Isotretinoin- Isotretinoin (Accutane) is a drug which is used to treat acne and chronic cystic acne scars. It is known to aggravate this inflammatory condition in patients who have already developed the initial symptoms.

Major symptoms and signs

Depend on the affected site and severity of inflammation.

  • Passage of loose stools with pus or blood (bloody diarrhea)
  • Cramping abdominal pain sometimes associated with a pain in the rectal area and rectal bleeding
  • Urge incontinence (severe need to pass stools)
  • Inability of open bowels even if there is a severe need
  • Loss of weight
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild fever.

Mild to moderate symptoms can sometimes be associated with long periods of remission.

It is highly important to seek immediate medical advice, IF

  • You present with altered bowel habits
  • You need to wake up at night due to the urge of passing stools which are usually loose in consistency
  • You have an ongoing fever lasting for more than 3 days.

How can we diagnosis Ulcerative Colitis?

  • Full blood count with blood and stool culture are the routine tests done in suspected patients.

Colorectal department at Neoalta specialty clinic, NAVI Mumbai, now uses the latest and most advanced techniques to diagnosis Ulcerative Colitis, which include

   – Ultra sound scans
   – Colonoscopy
   – Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
   – CT scan

Treatment

Even if there is no permanent cure for Ulcerative colitis yet, timely interventions and medical care can definitely help in improving symptoms and signs which will in turn improve the quality of life.
Primary goal of the treatment for Ulcerative colitis is to improve the affected individual’s immunity system, particularly to prevent from recurrences with the help of a combination of life style modifications and medical or surgical interventions. In fact, a nutrition-rich diet to ensure an efficient immunity system and drugs such as Amino-salicylates (5-ASA) and corticosteroids can be used in less severe cases where surgical interventions like colectomy with the creation of an ileostomy or external stoma are indicated in severe or recurrent patients who do not respond to medical therapy.

All these surgeries can now be approached under one roof in Colo-rectal department at Neoalta specialty clinic, with highly advanced technology and specialized care for the lowest, affordable charges.


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