Colitis and Chronic Ulcerative Colitis – Symptoms and Treatment

Colitis and Chronic Ulcerative Colitis

colitis is inflammation of the lining of the colon ( big intestine ) that causes abdominal trouble, diarrhea and bloody stools. A bout of colitis that lasts for several days and then decreases may result from certain foods, medications, or an infection. Chronic ulcerative colitis, however, is a more unplayful immune system perturb that can last decades and require long-run medical therapy. This type of colitis is closely associated with Crohn ‘s disease, another inflammatory intestine disease ( IBD ) .
For more data or to schedule an appointee with a Virginia Mason gastroenterologist, call (206) 223-2319.

Symptoms of Colitis

  • Diarrhea or loose stools
  • Abdominal pain
  • Urgent need to defecate
  • Cramps
  • Dehydration
  • Bloody stools

Symptoms of Chronic Ulcerative Colitis

Symptoms vary among patients depending upon where in the colon and rectum excitement resides a well as its volume. ignition may affect a humble helping of the colon and rectum or, in worse cases, engulf the entire bombastic intestine .
Patients with chronic ulcerative colitis are at hazard of : anemia, from bleeding within the colon and rectum ; bone disorders, including osteoporosis, because nutrients are not being absorbed by the intestines ; and skin and eye disorders, coarse among patients with immune system diseases, such as arthritic arthritis. Patients with chronic ulcerative colitis besides are at a higher hazard of developing chief sclerosing cholangitis, a disorder of the bile ducts in the liver, and colon cancer.

Signs and symptoms of chronic ulcerative colitis can include :

  • Persistent diarrhea or loose stools
  • Bloody stools
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramps
  • Urgent need to defecate
  • Dehydration
  • Constipation
  • Weight loss
  • Brittle bones
  • Malnutrition
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Anemia
  • Joint pain
  • Skin and eye disorders

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Diagnosing Colitis and Chronic Ulcerative Colitis

Your gastroenterologist may suspect colitis based on your medical history and a review of your symptoms. He or she will have you undergo a colonoscopy procedure using a colonoscope to view the colon and rectum, and may take a tissue sample ( biopsy ) to help determine the campaign. early tests and procedures include :

    Blood tests are taken to determine both red and white blood cell counts. A low red blood cell count can indicate anemia, from bleeding within the colon and rectum. Elevated white blood cells, which fight infection, indicate inflammation within the colon and rectum.
    A stool sample may be taken to rule out a parasitic infection that can cause colitis.
    In addition to a colonoscopy, a CT scan can determine what areas of the rectum and colon are inflamed.

Classification of chronic ulcerative colitis

Gastroenterologists categorize chronic ulcerative colitis based on the location and extent of inflammation within the colon and rectum. For most patients, the feign area remains the same during the course of the disease .

    Ulcerative proctitis is confined to the rectum (from the Greek, proktos, meaning anus) and symptoms will vary depending upon its severity. Some patients experience rectal bleeding while others may have rectal pain along with an urgent need to defecate. Pain associated with an urgent need to defecate is called tenesmus.
    Proctosigmoiditis involves the rectum and a small segment of colon on the left side of the body- the sigmoid colon -attached to the rectum. Symptoms can include rectal bleeding, an urgent need to defecate, tenesmus, cramps and bloody diarrhea.
    Left-sided colitis affects primarily the sigmoid colon on the left side of the body and the descending colon. Symptoms can include pain on the left side, cramps, bloody diarrhea and weight loss.
    This type of ulcerative colitis affects the entire colon and rectum. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, cramps, bloody diarrhea, fever, fatigue and night sweats.
    Fulminant colitis is a severe form of universal colitis. This rare form can develop into a medical emergency. Symptoms are similar to universal colitis but also may include dehydration and perforation of the colon. Patients are treated in the hospital and in some cases the colon is surgically removed.

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Treating Colitis and Chronic Ulcerative Colitis

Medications, and in severe cases surgery to remove the colon, are the pillar of treatment for patients with chronic ulcerative colitis and Crohn ‘s disease. Because these diseases are disorders of the immune system, in which the body attacks cells within the colon, the goals of treatment are to suppress incendiary episodes ( causing the disease to go into remittance ) and to improve quality of life. unfortunately, as patients know all excessively well, the disease can flare up ( backsliding ) repeatedly, the reason why treatment is normally life retentive .
The Digestive Disease Institute at Virginia Mason is at the vanguard in immune system research, specifically at Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, where scientists are unlocking the genic causes of immune arrangement disorders that includes arthritic arthritis, multiple sclerosis and incendiary intestine disease .

    Prescription anti-inflammatory medications and immune system modulators are two classes of drugs commonly used in treating chronic ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Both classes of drugs have side effects when used long term. Your gastroenterologist will talk to you in more detail about side effects that can develop when taking these medications.
    • Anti-inflammatory medications
      Anti-inflammatory medications include 5-ASA (5-aminosalicylic acid) – sulfasalazine, olsalazine and mesalamine – that are also prescribed for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, as well as corticosteroids (prednisone).
    • Immune modulators
      Immune modulators suppress the body’s immune system by interfering with the development of cells and proteins that lead to inflammation. These medications include 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP), azathioprine, cyclosporine and methotrexate.
    • Investigational drugs
      Newer medications coming onto the market are available within clinical trials, as are drugs used for other conditions that have been found to be effective against chronic ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The Digestive Disease Institute at Virginia Mason is a leading center for investigational studies using these therapies.
    Surgery to remove the colon may be recommended when medications are no longer effective or when severe cases (universal or fulminant colitis) are present. Your gastroenterologist and surgeon will talk with you in more detail about this treatment option.
    Patients with colitis and chronic ulcerative colitis often are at risk of malnutrition from the loss of nutrients as food and liquids make their way through the digestive tract. Specialists within the Digestive Disease Institute at Virginia Mason help patients manage all aspects of their care, including nutritionists to help with nutritional needs. A nutritionist also can answer questions about what foods and liquids to avoid, such as milk products, alcoholic beverages, grains, and spicy foods that can make cramping and diarrhea worse when the disease recurs.

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