guide treatment of all diseases please read our
Ulcerative colitis is a autoimmune disease (inflammation) that
causes inflammation and sores, called ulcers, in the lining of the
rectum and colon. Ulcers form where inflammation has killed the
cells that usually line the colon, then bleed and produce pus.
Inflammation in the colon also causes the colon to empty frequently,
When the inflammation occurs in the rectum and lower part of the
colon it is called ulcerative proctitis. If the entire colon is
affected it is called pancolitis. If only the left side of the colon
is affected it is called limited or distal colitis.
Search any disease
complete answers instantly
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the
general name for diseases that cause inflammation in the small
intestine and colon. It can be difficult to diagnose because its
symptoms are similar to other intestinal disorders and to another
type of IBD called Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease differs because
it causes inflammation deeper within the intestinal wall and can
occur in other parts of the digestive system including the small
intestine, mouth, esophagus, and stomach.
Ulcerative colitis can occur in people of any age, but it usually
starts between the ages of 15 and 30, and less frequently between 50
and 70 years of age. It affects men and women equally and appears to
run in families, with reports of up to 20 percent of people with
ulcerative colitis having a family member or relative with
ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. A higher incidence of
ulcerative colitis is seen in Whites and people of Jewish descent.
What are the symptoms of ulcerative
The most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis are abdominal pain
and bloody diarrhea. Patients also may experience
loss of appetite
loss of body fluids and nutrients
fatigue, growth failure (specifically in children)
About half of the people diagnosed with ulcerative colitis have mild
symptoms. Others suffer frequent fevers, bloody diarrhea, nausea,
and severe abdominal cramps. Ulcerative colitis may also cause
problems such as arthritis, inflammation of the eye, liver disease,
and osteoporosis. It is not known why these problems occur outside
the colon. Scientists think these complications may be the result of
inflammation triggered by the immune system. Some of these problems
go away when the colitis is treated.
What causes ulcerative colitis?
Many theories exist about what causes ulcerative colitis. People
with ulcerative colitis have abnormalities of the immune system,
after the disease is triggered then the abnormal immune system
starts to attack the persons own intestines.
Ulcerative colitis is triggered by emotional distress or
sensitivity to certain foods or food products. The stress of living with
ulcerative colitis may also contribute to a worsening of symptoms.
Injury and surgery can also cause ulcerative colitis. Infections
play a role and rarely a infection from certain
How is ulcerative colitis diagnosed?
Many tests are used to diagnose ulcerative colitis. A physical exam
and medical history are usually the first step.
Blood tests may be done to check for anemia, which could indicate
bleeding in the colon or rectum, or they may uncover a high white
blood cell count, which is a sign of inflammation somewhere in the
A stool sample can also reveal white blood cells, whose presence
indicates ulcerative colitis or inflammatory disease. In addition, a
stool sample allows the doctor to detect bleeding or infection in
the colon or rectum caused by bacteria, a virus, or parasites.
A colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy are the most accurate methods for
making a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis and ruling-out other
possible conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, diverticular disease,
or cancer. For both tests, the doctor inserts an endoscope—a long,
flexible, lighted tube connected to a computer and TV monitor—into
the anus to see the inside of the colon and rectum. The doctor will
be able to see any inflammation, bleeding, or ulcers on the colon
wall. During the exam, the doctor may do a biopsy, which involves
taking a sample of tissue from the lining of the colon to view with