Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease or also called as IBD that causes the long-term swelling the inside part of the digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease that can be debilitating and at times may develop life-threatening complications. Ulcerative colitis symptoms does not develop suddenly but frequently over a period of time.
The innermost lining of the large intestine or colon and rectum is the area wherein usually affected by ulcerative colitis. Continuous stretches of the colon is the only reason why it develops.
There are still no treatments known for ulcerative colitis. However, there are therapies available that may significantly lessen the signs and symptoms of ulcerative colitis and may even give a long-time remission.
What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis can differ on the severity of inflammation and the part that is being affected. The signs and symptoms of ulcerative colitis may depend on its classification.
- Inflammation that is being enclosed to the part nearest to the anus or rectum is the symptom of one of the form of ulcerative colitis which is the ulcerative proctitis. Some of the people affected with this ulcerative proctitis may experience rectal bleeding. For others, may experience rectal pain and a feeling of urgency. This is considered as the mildest form of ulcerative colitis.
- Another form of ulcerative colitis where abdominal cramps and pain, bloody diarrhea and the incapability to move the bowels despite of the urge to do so occur are the symptoms of proctosigmoiditis. This usually affects the rectum and the sigmoid colon, the lower end of the colon.
- An inflammation that leads from the rectum all the way through the sigmoid and descending colon is considered as left-sided colitis. Bloody diarrhea, unexplainable weight loss and abdominal cramping and pain on the left side are the signs and symptoms of left-sided colitis.
- If more than of the left colon and a lot of the entire colon are affected it is considered as pancolitis. Severe bloody diarrhea, fatigue, abdominal cramps and pain and significant weight loss are the signs and symptoms of pancolitis.
- The last is the fulminant colitis. The signs and symptoms of this form of colitis are severe pain, profuse diarrhea that can sometimes lead to dehydration and shock. People affected with fulminant colitis can cause serious complications like colon rupture and toxic megacolon.
What are the causes of ulcerative colitis?
Medical research has no definite answer as to what really causes the ulcerative colitis. They do not consider anymore stress as the main cause of ulcerative colitis though it can make the symptoms get worse. The following are the possible cause of ulcerative colitis.
- Some of the medical researchers believe that virus or bacteria may cause ulcerative colitis. The digestive tract gets swollen when the immune system attempts to fight off the invading microorganism. It can also be possible that the inflammation may result from an autoimmune reaction in which the body builds up an immune response though there is no pathogen present.
- The people that are more prone to ulcerative colitis are the one that the parent or siblings are affected with the disease. However, most of the people affected with ulcerative colitis do not have a family history of this disease.
What are the natural remedies of ulcerative colitis?
There are some ways that may help to control the symptoms of ulcerative colitis and some of them are the following.
1. Restrict yourself from eating dairy products.
If you are lactose intolerant, your body can’t digest the milk sugar present in dairy foods and have ulcerative colitis, you should limit yourself from eating dairy products. You may try to use Lactaid that can help to break down the lactose, the milk sugar. But bear in mind that you should take other sources of calcium like supplements if you will going to limit yourself from eating dairy foods.
2. Avoid “gassy” foods.
3. Practice to eat small meals.
4. Drink plenty of fluids each day.
5. Intake of vitamin and mineral supplements.
6. Do exercise.
Even though stress may not trigger inflammatory bowel disorder, it is still better to manage your stress for it can aggravate the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Doing regular exercise even mild one can help to reduce stress, alleviate depression and normalize the bowel function.
7. Perform regular relaxation and breathing exercises.
Ulcerative colitis may affect both women and men. Do not hesitate to consult your doctor if you are experiencing the symptoms of ulcerative colitis for proper evaluation and treatment.