Ulcerative Colitis

The Colon

Description

Ulcerative Colitis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that affects a person’s colon. The immune system attacks the colon walls, causing ulcers. Many symptoms include cramps, frequent bowel movements, bloody stool, and stomach pain.

Causes

Although there isn't a definite cause for UC, there are a lot of factors that play into the disease. One of the most common ones being a bacterial infection in the colon or stomach. The immune system fights off the bacteria (as it should), but then it doesn't "shut off" once it's out of the system. Other causes are allergies, environmental toxins, an inflammatory diet, genetics, and stress.

Commonness

700,000 Americans are currently living with Ulcerative Colitis

Cure, Prevetion, Management


Cure:
  • Removal of colon (May cause other complications)
Prevention:
  • There are no proven methods of prevention.

Management:

  • Medication

    • Aminosalicylates

      • Common Side Effects: Mild stomach pain or cramps, Nausea, Loss of appetite, Diarrhea, Dizziness, Headaches, Vomiting

    • Steroids
      • Common Side Effects: High blood pressure, Increased risk of infection, Weight gain, Acne, Mood swings, Psychosis, Increased facial hair, Cataracts, Stretch marks, High blood sugar levels, Weakened bones, Insomnia

    • Immunosuppressants
      • Common Side Effects: Fever or chills, Pain in the lower back, on the sides, Pain or difficulty urinating, Unusual bruising or bleeding, Blood in your urine, Stools that are bloody or black

    • Infliximab (Remicade)
      • Common Side Effects: Stomach and chest pain, Chills, Cough, Dizziness or fainting, Fatigue or weakness, Difficulty breathing, Tightness in the chest, Fever, Flushed face, Headache, Hives, Muscle pain, Nausea, Low blood pressure or high blood pressure, Rash or itching

  • Other Ways
    • Food
      • Drink small amounts of water throughout the day

      • Eat smaller portions

      • Limit high fiber foods

      • Avoid fatty foods

      • Monitor food for triggers

    • Lower stress
    • Exercise more
    • Yoga
    • Therapies

Where would a person be affected?

The Colon

Who is most likely to be affected by Ulcerative Colitis

Caucasians of European origin are most likely to inherit the disorder. Jewish descendants are also at risk. Age wise, the disease tends show up in ages 15-30.