Ulcerative Colitis is a chronic disease that affects the large intestine, which is commonly known as the colon, wherein the lining of the colon has become inflamed and has developed tiny open sores, or known as ulcers, which produces pus and mucus. The combination of these conditions can irritate and would result in abdominal discomfort and frequent emptying of the colon.
Now, if you or your loved one has been recently diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, it is just right that you would start learning about this condition since it is an important matter to be able to handle this correctly. Thus, here is the information that you need to know about this intestinal disease.
What is Ulcerative Colitis?
As what was stated beforehand, ulcerative colitis is the inflammation in the lining of the colon in which it has developed tiny open sores that have led to abdominal discomfort. This is the result of an abnormal response of your body’s immune system, wherein usually, the cells and proteins that make up the immune system protect you from infection yet do the other way around due to the disease.
The immune system, in this case, mistakes food, bacteria, and other materials in the intestine as foreign or invading substances. And when this happens, the body sends off the white blood cells into the intestines’ lining wherein they produce chronic inflammation and ulcerations.
The ulcerative colitis is more common than the Chron’s disease in the United States, wherein 1,6 million Americans suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, and about 907,000 of them have the ulcerative colitis. With this statistical data, one can say that ulcerative colitis takes a significant toll on the public’s health.
What Causes It?
Medical practitioners are still not sure as to why exactly people get this condition. However, researchers believe that there are following factors that play a role in causing the ulcerative colitis. These includes:
This is the number one culprit for this condition which is due to the abnormal immune reaction of an individual’s body wherein the immune system attacks the inner lining of the large intestine instead of protecting the body from infection by identifying and destroying bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful foreign substances inside the body.
Genes are found to be one of the reasons as to how an individual develops this condition. Studies by researchers have not yet been able to show a clear link between ulcerative colitis and the abnormal genes. However, it has been found out and is still being investigated that ulcerative colitis sometimes runs in families.
Some studies have suggested that the environment an individual lives in affects the development of this condition, although the overall chance is low. Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, oral contraceptives, and antibiotic may slightly increase the chances of an individual developing ulcerative colitis.
Also, a high-fat diet may also slightly increase the chance of an individual in developing this condition. Additionally, it seems that stress may increase a person’s chance in flaring up this illness, or that it may trigger or worsen the symptoms.
Treatments for Ulcerative Colitis
The treatment for Ulcerative Colitis has two main goals. One is to ease your symptoms while giving your colon a chance to heal. The other is the prevention of adding more flare-ups within your body’s system. A change in diet, medication, or surgery might be recommended by your doctor to reach these goals.
In entirety, food doesn’t cause this condition. However, there is some food that can make your symptoms worse. If you have this condition, you may find that soft, bland food does not bother you as much as those high-fiber spicy dishes. Due to this, makes sure you get enough vitamins and nutrients from your meals wherein your doctor might recommend a high-protein, high-calorie diet plan which is low in fiber.
A few different kinds of drug prescriptions might be prescribed to you, which includes the following:
Antibiotics. Which is needed to fight off infections and let your large intestine heal
Anti-inflammatory. Lowers the inflammation in your colon and controls the symptoms, which is also the first step in treating UC. An example of an anti-inflammatory medicine would be the aminosalicylates like the Apriso ER which can be bought with Apriso ER discount coupon at some pharmacies to help financially. There is also another type of anti-inflammatory drug called corticosteroid which is prescribed if the symptoms didn’t lessen or were more severe.
Biologics. Drugs that are made from proteins in the living cells instead of chemicals. This type of medication is for those individuals that suffer more severe ulcerative colitis.
Surgery. If other treatments do not work out, and your UC is severe, then an operation might be needed to remove your colon (colectomy).
It is essential to know more about an illness you or your loved one has been diagnosed with to support and help out in any possible way. This illness is often accompanied by mental health disorders like depression and anxiety since it is a chronic condition that can cause severe pain and fatigue. Which is why understanding this sickness would surely help alleviate your worries and would lightly ease up your burden.