ULCERATIVE COLITIS - Watsons Health

ULCERATIVE COLITIS

  • One of the most common types of inflammatory bowel disease which affects the colon and rectum. It causes inflammation and sores (ulcers) in the lining of the large intestine and usually affects the lower section (sigmoid colon) and the rectum. Usually, the symptoms will be worse, the more affected sections the colon has.
  • Can affect people of any age. But most people who have it are diagnosed before the age of 30.
  • The cause of the disease is still poorly understood by experts but theories include an over reaction of the immune system to normal bacteria or it may be caused by specific kinds of viruses and bacteria.
  • Family history of the disease increases the chances of acquiring the disease.
  • Main symptoms:
    • Belly pain or cramps
    • Diarrhea
    • Rectal Bleeding
  • Fever, loss of appetite, weight loss and severe diarrhea of 10 to 20 times a day may occur.
  • Other problems, such as joint pain, eye problems, or liver disease may be present.
  • Symptoms may come and go with times without symptoms (remission) and flare-ups.

DIAGNOSIS

  • Physician may do/request:
    • History & Physical Exam
    • Colonoscopy
      • Visualisation of the colon using a thin lighted tube. A sample or biopsy of the lining of the colon may also be taken during the procedure
    • Blood tests
      • For signs of infection or inflammation
    • Stool sample
      • Test for blood, infection, and white blood cells.

 

RECOMMENDED MEDICATIONS

  • Medical treatment is usually the management of this disease with the goals of:
    • Control or prevention of inflammation in the intestines
    • Relief of symptoms
    • Promote healing of damaged tissues
    • Keeping the disease in remission and preventing it from flaring up
    • Postpone or prevent the need for surgery.
  • Mild to moderate disease
    • Treatment usually begins with aminosalicylates to decrease inflammation in the intestines and aid it putting the disease in remission and may also keep the disease from becoming active again.
    • Steroids to decrease inflammation may be added if symptoms continue.
  • Severe cases:
    • Medicines that suppress the immune system
    • Cyclosporine
    • Biologics
    • Intravenous (IV) corticosteroids

For pregnant or breast-feeding mothers

Consult your doctor on which medications will be safe to use as some medicines may be harmful to your baby.

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