Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The condition arises if the lining of the large intestine, rectum or both are inflamed. The inflammation results to ulcers on the lining of the colon. It generally starts in the rectum and spreads upward. In some cases, it can affect the entire colon.
Take note that the inflammation causes the bowel to move its contents rapidly and empty frequently. Once the cells on the surface of the bowel lining die, ulcers will form. These ulcers can cause bleeding along with drainage of pus and mucus.
What are the signs?
The severity of the symptoms tends to vary. Around 50% of individuals diagnosed with the condition have minor symptoms. Nevertheless, there are cases where the symptoms are severe.
The usual signs of ulcerative colitis include:
- Blood-streaked stools
- Abdominal pain
- Increased abdominal sounds
- Weight loss
- Rectal pain
Other additional symptoms that might be present include:
- Joint pain and swelling
- Skin issues
- Nausea and diminished appetite
- Eye inflammation
- Mouth sores
Management of ulcerative colitis
Remember that ulcerative colitis is a chronic ailment. The treatment generally includes medication or surgery. The objective of treatment is to lessen the inflammation responsible for the symptoms.
The doctor might prescribe a drug to minimize the swelling and inflammation such as mesalamine, sulfasalazine and olsalazine. Take note that reducing the inflammation can lessen most of the symptoms.
In severe cases, other drugs such as corticosteroids, antibiotics and biologics are required to deal with the inflammation in a different manner.
For serious symptoms, hospitalization is required to fix the effects of dehydration and electrolyte loss that diarrhea causes. Surgical intervention is also required if there is significant bleeding, chronic symptoms, severe blockage or colon perforation.