What are the warning signs of ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is defined as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in the digestive tract. This disease impacts the innermost lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. It cannot be cured but managed.
150 out of every 100,000 Americans suffers from this disease. It mostly affects whites and may run in the family.
Causes of ulcerative colitis
So far, the exact cause of ulcerative colitis has not been ascertained. However, an overactive intestinal immune system, genes and environment are believed to be factors. The usage of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics and oral contraceptives are likely to up the risk of developing ulcerative colitis. A high-fat diet can also up the chances.
Stomach pain and bloody diarrhea are a top warning sign of ulcerative colitis. Sometimes, this could be mild and at other times severe and persistent. There might be cramping as well.
When there is long term inflammation in the colon, this will cause digestion problems that may result in weight loss, nausea, loss of appetite and poor growth when children are affected by it.
There might be an urgency to defecate or there might be an inability to defecate inspite of feeling urgency. There could be rectal pain and rectal bleeding which means a little blood is passed along with the stool.
Signs outside the digestive system
Some of the other signs are joint pains, frequent fever, anemia, skin sores, eye irritation, rashes and fatigue.
Depending on the severity of ulcerative colitis, it may be treated with medication or with surgery. Some of the medications used to treat this condition include aminosalicylates, corticosteroids, immunomodulators and biologics which are also known as anti-TNF therapies.