What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis or proctitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that produces inflammation and ulcers in the large intestine. It is oftenly misspelled as “cholitis“.
Explanatory drawing of ulcerative colitis disease. This condition requires immediate medical treatment.
It is characterized by symptoms of intermittent, frequent or continuous episodes of bloody diarrhea, rectal bleeding, alternating with other periods of constipation.
Inflammation, which can appear anywhere in the digestive tract, acquiring a continuous extension, tends to focus on the colon and rectum, affecting the outside of the mucosa.
It is a disease that usually appears between 15 and 40 years and between 50 and 80.
Causes of ulcerative colitis
It is not known exactly what causes this disease, although various possible causes have been suggested. For most specialists, they are a consequence and not a cause of this disease.
These would imply he following:
– Genetic factors: A quarter of the patients with ulcerative colitis have family antecedents. It is more common among whites than in blacks. Within the white race it appears particularly frequently in Jews.
– Food allergies: Studies show the highest incidence of this disease in urban areas than in rural and Western societies than in less developed countries. All this has suggested that food could trigger it.
– Auto-immunity: The body itself, stimulated by a virus or bacteria, may attack the patient’s own intestine.
– Lack of digestive enzymes
How to know you may have ulcerative colitis
The main symptoms of ulcerative colitis are:
– Ulcerative colitis is initially expressed with increased depositional frequency, often poorly formed feces and diarrhea.
– Strong abdominal pain, bowel sounds, cramps, flatulence
– Painful evacuation, bellyache, foul-smelling stools
– Usually bloody diarrhea, decreased body weight
– Rectal bleeding (expulsion of blood through the abdomen)
– Jaundice, liver problems
– Appearance of fistulas or hemorrhoids in the anus
– Fever, intestinal tissue death, shock, paralysis and ruptured colon (toxic megacolon)
Types of ulcerative colitis
According to the part of the intestine it affects, it is called:
– Ulcerative proctitis: when only affects the rectum.
– Rectosigmoiditis: When it affects the rectum and sigmoid, which is part of the S-shaped colon, before the rectum.
– Left-sided colitis: when extended to the left corner of the colon.
– Pancolitis or pan-ulcerative colitis: When it affects the entire colon.
It should be noted that the disease always starts in the rectum and is spreading gradually and in a continuous manner to the entire colon.
Treatment of ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis requires immediate medical treatment to avoid a deterioration of the disease that can lead to more serious conditions such as tumors in the intestine, colon perforation, narrowing of the colon, intestinal stenosis, liver problems, etc.
Given any symptoms that may suggest the presence of this disease, you should see a doctor immediately to make the proper diagnosis (blood and stool tests, x-rays or colonoscopy).
With the emergence of outbreaks, bed rest is necessary during the first few days to relieve abdominal pain.
What is the conventional treatment of ulcerative colitis?
Conventional treatment of ulcerative colitis involves the administration of a number of drugs that reduce inflammation and prevent attacks.
In some cases, it may be required hospitalization and even the use of surgery or removal of the affected portion of the colon, which means the cure of the disease.
The main medicines for ulcerative colitis are:
- Paracetamol, against inflammation. No drugs such as ibuprofen or aspirin are recommended, etc.
- Anticholinergics: to reduce muscle spasms of the intestines, relieving pain and diarrhea.
- Mesalamine compounds: To diminish immune substances that cause inflammation of the intestine.
- Corticosteroids: Very effective anti-inflammatories, whose use should moderate its possible side effects (decreased immunity, hypertension, osteoporosis, diabetes, cataracts,…).
- Antibiotics: When there are bacterial infections (They should be taken under strict medical supervision because sometimes they are not beneficial for people with ulcerative colitis)
- Immunosuppressive drugs: They can prevent outbreaks of the disease, although there is a risk of infection.
It is recommended psychotherapy, meditation and relaxation exercises.
What is the natural treatment of ulcerative colitis
Natural treatment of ulcerative colitis involves the use of a series of natural resources that are able to prevent or alleviate it, and feeding guidelines:
– Aloe (Aloe vera): Aloe juice helps reduce intestinal inflammation and improve the state of the digestive mucosa. It is a restorative of digestive mucosa. (Take aloe vera juice)
– Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra): Licorice root is antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and has soothing properties that can help improve symptoms of the disease. (Infusions of licorice)
More information on natural treatment of ulcerative colitis.