Extensive colitis is accompanied by more severe symptoms than colitis, which affects only the rectum. There are some people who have a large portion of the colon affected but have no symptoms. The most common inflammatory bowel diseases are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Cases for ulcerative colitis are not known. Some studies have suggested that inflammatory bowel disease may be caused by an abnormal immune response to intestinal bacteria. Other diseases such as diseases caused by certain bacteria or viruses (eg varicella) were associated with inflammatory bowel disease. Ulcerative colitis is transmitted hereditary.
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:
– Diarrhea and rectal leakage. Some people may get 10-20 stools daily.
– Rectal bleeding. Ulcerative colitis often is accompanied by bloody stools and mucus. It can be associated with rectal pain and urge to go to the toilet
– Abdominal pain, described as cramps. The abdomen may be sensitive to palpation
– Constipation. This may occur depending on the portion of the colon affected. Constipation is less common as diarrhea
– Decreased appetite
– loss of weight. Chronic symptoms such as diarrhea cause weight loss
– Anemia (low red blood cell number). Some people develop anemia because of iron loss in inflammatory bowel syndrome or bleeding
Other syndromes that have similar manifestations are Crohn’s disease ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome and colorectal cancer.
Ulcerative colitis therapy depends largely on the severity of the disease and includes medication to control symptoms such as diarrhea and changes in diet. Some patients have severe and persistent symptoms, and treatment involves additional medication or surgical therapy.
Therapy goals are:
– Reducing the symptoms and stopping the acute episode
– Treatment of complications as anemia or infection. Therapy may involve nutritional supplements to restore normal growth and sexual development in children and adolescents
Toxic megacolon occurs due to inflammation and ulceration of the colon. They cause irritation of the colon muscles causing muscle stretching. The colon can expand greatly. This change is severe and requires emergency care.
Ulcerative colitis can cause rare complications such as scarring or inflammation of the pancreas. Some people with ulcerative colitis also have irritable bowel syndrome, which is not as severe as colitis. Irritable bowel syndrome is accompanied by abdominal pain and diarrhea or constipation.
Most women who have ulcerative colitis may become pregnant, having healthy children. Ulcerative colitis symptoms get worse in the first three months of pregnancy.
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