If you have ever had a stomach ache, then you know that it can be quite uncomfortable. Imagine having a medical condition that gives you abdominal pains that are that painful or perhaps even more painful. This is the case with ulcerative colitis, a medical condition caused by ulcers and inflammation in the digestive tract.
Ulcerative colitis usually affects the rectum and large intestines; thus, it is considered an inflammatory bowel illness. However, it may affect other parts of the body. The condition may manifest differently in different people. The symptoms may also be subject to the level of inflammation. Here are some of the symptoms that are common among patients who have ulcerative colitis.
- Weight loss
- Rectal bleeding
- Rectal pain
- Abdominal pain
- Frequent need to relieve yourself.
The condition can be easily misdiagnosed, especially in its early stages, when the symptoms are not as severe. Early diagnosis is preferable because it saves the patient a lot of pain and trips to the hospital, but it is also easier to treat in its early stages. If not treated early, the disease can result in complications that might be life-threatening.
The different types of ulcerative colitis
There are different types of ulcerative colitis, and the type depends on location in the digestive tract. Below are the different types:
- Proctosigmoiditis- this type is characterized by colon and rectal inflammation with severe symptoms such as difficulty passing stool, abdominal pain, and bloody diarrhea.
- Acute severe ulcerative colitis- it is mainly characterized by inflammation in the large intestines. Symptoms usually include loss of appetite, bleeding, frequent diarrhea, and pain.
- Ulcerative proctitis- It leads to rectal inflammation, and the most common symptom is rectal bleeding.
- Pancolitis- this type leads to swelling in the large intestines and is characterized by acute bloody diarrhea.
- Left-sided colitis is one of the most severe types of ulcerative colitis because it affects the entire large intestines and colon. Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, abdominal pains, and weight loss.
Ulcerative colitis treatments
As noted earlier, ulcerative colitis does not have a cure. However, with the right treatment, the symptoms can subside, and the diseases may enter remission, allowing the patient to live a more comfortable life. If you are diagnosed with any form of ulcerative colitis, the doctor should then recommend suitable treatment options. Here are some of the common treatments that doctors recommend t ulcerative colitis patients.
- Your doctor may prescribe drugs such as anti-inflammatory medication to control the inflammation and suppress some of the other symptoms.
- Doctors may also suggest adjusting your diet so that you can avoid some of the foods that might be making the situation worse or adjusting your diet to one that has more nutrients. This can help boost immunity, allowing your body to fight the inflammation.
- Doctors may also combine different therapies such as dieting and medicine to try and achieved the desired outcome, in this case eliminating the symptoms and reducing the inflammation.
- Surgery is also one of the options that are on the table, but it is mostly the go-to when other treatments have failed. The surgery usually involves removing a part of the colon and sometimes even the rectum.
Notice that there are two main goals with the above treatment options, and those are to reduce inflammation and to improve immunity. This is as per the guidelines offered by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. The inflammation causes most of the discomfort and symptoms in ulcerative colitis. Boosting immunity helps the body to fight the inflammation, and that is why treatment options recommend proper dieting. The therapy becomes even more effective when combined with medication.