Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis

Dealing with medical issues is a hassle no one wants to go through. However, issues with the gut can shake you to the core and flip your world upside down. No exaggeration there! You must have heard people say: “good gut means good life!”. Feeling bloated and constipated ruins your whole day; you can’t seem to concentrate on anything.

When the bloating goes down, and your bowl activity is on point, you feel ready to take over the world. You wouldn’t wish ulcerative colitis to even your enemy because it can be life-threatening. Ulcerative colitis does not have any treatment to heal it entirely. However, medical experts are coming up with a procedure to control the condition.

If you have not heard of ulcerative colitis yet, it is better to educate yourself now. We discuss ulcerative colitis, its symptoms, causes, and some available treatment options. Let’s begin!

What is Ulcerative Colitis? 

Before we directly jump into the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, let’s see what it actually is. You can tell what ulcerative colitis is by its name. It is a severe inflammation of your large intestine, also known as the colon, disrupting its function. Inflamed and irritated ulcers spread all over your large intestine lining, causing a lot of discomforts.

Unfortunately, there are no treatments to cure this condition for a lifetime. However, there are a few preventative measures and treatments you can try to control its symptoms. One of the root causes of ulcerative colitis is a weak immune system. Your immune system confuses the healthy blood cells and healthy bacteria as intruders and tries to attack them.

To date, doctors cannot find the genuine reason behind ulcerative colitis. Hence, its proper treatment is unable, but it can be controlled. On the other hand, most medical experts link it with genetics and family medical history.

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

As an amateur person, you would think that ulcerative colitis symptoms only occur in your lower belly portion. You are wrong! Ulcerative colitis is mainly a weak immune disorder; hence, its symptoms spread all across the body. Scary, isn’t it? Let’s discuss some of its symptoms that you must keep an eye on:

➢ Lower Belly Cramps

One of the main symptoms that most people with ulcerative colitis deal with is lower belly pain. Your rectum region is sore and inflamed; hence, you are bound to feel pain in your stomach. You will feel cramps for a prolonged period. If you are constantly dealing with pain, you need to see a doctor.

➢ Feeling Bloated All the Time

Eating unhealthy and then feeling bloated is one thing. However, if you constantly feel bloated and uneasy, there is something wrong. On the other hand, you don’t feel like you have emptied your colon every time you go to the bathroom. Poor digestive system functioning is the most significant sign of a weak colon. Hence, it is something to be concerned about and see a doctor.

➢ Joint Soreness

Thinking about what joint soreness has to do with ulcerative colitis? When your gut health is affected, so is your overall health. Blows your mind, doesn’t it? You will feel pain in your body because your immune system is probably at its weakest. Hence, it’s super important to see a doctor and get an internal check-up.

➢ Weight Loss

Who doesn’t like a slim body, but never at the expense of your health! You can rapidly lose weight due to ulcerative colitis. Your food does not get digestive, and you feel bloated. Hence, you experience loss of appetite and weight loss. Adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet and probiotics can do wonders. However, turmeric for ulcerative colitis is super beneficial and also helps in reducing inflammation.

➢ Bloody Stool

When the ulcerative colitis is inflamed and irritated, you pass small blood with your stool. You may also feel soreness and pain every time you go to the bathroom. If this condition goes on too long, you must see a doctor immediately.

Causes of Ulcerative Colitis

There are a few reasons why you could be prone to ulcerative colitis. While the actual reason is still unknown, doctors have predicted a few things. In this section, we are discussing those reasons:

1. Genetics

Human genetic diseases are pretty standard, and most medical conditions you go through are because of your medical history. Most doctors say that genetics play a pivotal role in inducing ulcerative colitis. If anyone in your family deals with it, you are most likely to get it. Hence, adding things to your diet to prevent it is a must. Turmeric curcumin, protein, lots of fibre, green vegetables, etc., is an excellent source of curing ulcerative colitis.

2. Poor Diet

Are you a spicy food lover and add truckloads of hot sauce to your meal? You are probably doing yourself more harm than you link. Spicy food is the greatest enemy of ulcers and can cause heartburn. Paying attention to nutritional value in every meal can prevent getting or triggering ulcerative colitis.

If you think you can’t keep up with healthy eating,  Nutrisystem and South Beach diet are great healthy meal suppliers to get your food. Don’t ever compromise on your food and add lots of fibre-rich greens to it.

3. Stress

Stress is such a mood killer, and it can induce many diseases within your body which you don’t want. Did you know stress can weaken your immune system? A weak immune system gives birth to ulcerative colitis. You must know how to manage stress to control such diseases.

What can Increase the Risk of Ulcerative Colitis?

A few things can easily trigger ulcerative colitis. It would be best to steer clear of these things to spare yourself from the pain. Here are some triggers:

  • Spicy food
  • Poor diet
  • Old age
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking

Some Treatments of Ulcerative Colitis

While there is no permanent solution for ulcerative colitis, there are a few medicines and treatments that supposedly treat it. Here are some:

➢ Anti-inflammatory Drugs/ Immunity Suppressors

Anti-inflammatory drugs like corticosteroids and 5-aminosalicylates help with temporary relief when your colon is severely inflamed. It helps in soothing your inflammation and providing relief from stomach pain. These medications might have some side effects; hence, consulting a doctor is necessary before taking them.

On the other hand, immunity suppressors such as cyclosporine, tofacitinib, and azathioprine help increase immune system response to an ulcer. Although, these drugs do not cure ulcerative colitis fully and work better when taken with other anti-inflammatory drugs.

➢ Surgery

When the colon disease or ulcerative colitis goes out of hand, surgery is the only choice left. Doctors have to remove your entire rectum and perform a J-pouch surgery to install a small pouch for stool storage at the end of the rectum. It is much more convenient as you don’t have to go to the doctor for stool removal every time.

Our Thoughts!

It’s unimaginable to deal with a gut-related issue for so long, let alone ulcerative colitis. Upon experiencing severe symptoms, it’s necessary to see a medical expert rather than self-medicating. Timely action and availing of available treatments are crucial to preventing ulcerative colitis from getting out of hand.