Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affecting your large intestine. It can involve only parts of the large intestine (e.g., colon or rectum or both) or might extend to the whole large intestine. The inflammation extends to deeper layers of the intestine wall, causing ulcers. The disease affects mainly people with hereditary predisposition between 20 -40 years old and progresses slowly over time. Although it has no known cure, it can be slowed down with proper care and treatment, reducing symptoms. Generally, the condition has a mild to the moderate course while leading to life-threatening complications in fewer cases.
The disease has been found to affect people with an abnormal immune system attacking the body’s cells in the intestinal tract. In most cases, this bizarre immune system is hereditary, while it has no such correlation with others. The disease can be aggravated by stress and improper diet.
To accurately diagnose the disease, your doctor will order a series of lab tests and procedures:
1- Blood tests:
2- Stool studies:
3- Abdominal X-Ray/ CT scan:
4- CT Enterography/MR Enterography:
5- Flexible Sigmoidoscopy:
The above invasive procedures help the doctor view the intestine, take tissue samples (biopsy) for laboratory analysis, and reach a definite diagnosis.
There are two modalities of treatment; drug therapy and surgery. The choice of remedy depends on the stage of disease, extent, and condition of the patient. The main goal of treatment is to induce a decrease in the intensity of the disease in the first step and then to maintain this reduced severity.
Drug Therapy: There are four modes of drug therapies available, more than one drug type can also be given in combination if the disease doesn’t respond to one drug class. They are:
Surgery: Surgical treatment is for patients not responding to drug therapy or developing complications, in which case the entire colon and rectum are removed. (proctocolectomy)
Ulcerative colitis has no established cure, and the prolonged course of the disease may make a patient feel helpless sometimes. But with lifestyle changes and controlling the diet and stress in life can keep the symptoms under check.
Our clinical experts continually monitor the health and medical content posted on CURA4U, and we update our blogs and articles when new information becomes available. Last reviewed by Dr.Saad Zia on May 09, 2023.