Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. It is characterized by swelling of the inner lining of the colon and rectum. It is a chronic ailment. However, by regulating your lifestyle and with the help of certain therapies, the recurrent flare-ups could be prevented.
Causes of ulcerative colitis
The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown. It is believed that perhaps a bacterial or viral infection in the digestive tract could trigger inflammation in the inner lining of the large intestine. The inflammation develops as the immune cells try to ward off the bacteria or viruses from the gut. Some health experts believe that ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune disease.
If the immune system sends wrong signals of microorganism invasion in the absence of pathogens to the brain, the immune cells attack the large intestine, causing inflammation in the colon and rectum. Ulcerative colitis sometimes runs in families. Defective genes might be responsible for this condition. The risk of developing ulcerative colitis is greater among people in their 30s. It rarely affects children and older adults.
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis differ from person to person. Rectal bleeding and pain are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis confined to the rectum. Ulcerative colitis occurring in the rectum and the colon causes abdominal pain, abdominal cramps and bloody diarrhea. The greater the area affected by the disease greater will be the severity of pain and diarrhea, leading to weight loss, dehydration and shock.
Ulcerative colitis treatment
The inflammation, pain and discomfort caused by ulcerative colitis could be treated with anti-inflammatory medications and immuno suppressant drugs. During the flare-ups, you should avoid milk, dairy products and foods known to trigger gas formation such as broccoli, cabbage, beans and carbonated drinks. You should also avoid caffeine, alcohol and fruit juices during flare-ups. Drink plenty of water.
Raw fruits and vegetables might worsen your discomfort. A low residue diet could check the problems caused by ulcerative colitis. Fish oil, probiotic food products such as yogurt and artichokes are beneficial for treating the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Regular intake of aloe vera juice could reduce the discomfort. Ulcerative colitis could be cured with enema made by boiling licorice root in water. Apple cooked with a pinch of nutmeg is beneficial for treating this painful condition.