What is Ulcerative Colitis
Thousands of people suffer from colitis, but what is colitis? Many people find out that they are suffering from this disease and have no idea what it exactly means. All they understand it that they are in constant pain, especially when they eat. In this article I will try to help you understand colitis a little bit better.
To begin to answer the question “what is colitis?”, it starts in the bowel. Also commonly referred to as ulcerative colitis, colitis is an sharp or unceasing inflammation of our colon. The colon is also known as the large intestine. Colitis causes the inflammation of the inner lining of the colon. It also can cause sores (ulcers) on the upper layer of the bowel. Colitis hardly involves the small intestine. In few cases it does affect the ileum, or lower section of the small intestine.
Another common question asked is “what is colitis inflammation”? First of all, inflammation occurs when there is an infection in any part of the body. During inflammation, cells are secreted to fight any infection, which can damage the colon. Inflammation of the colon causes it to empty constantly, which causes diarrhea. Ulcers start to form where the inflammation has destroyed the colon lining. The sores begin to bleed and sometimes produce mucus or pus. Symptoms sometimes include rectal bleeding, diarrhea, and lack of appetite.
Colitis is also referred to as IBD or inflammatory bowel disease. IBD is the common name for all disease that cause the intestines to inflame. Colitis is difficult to identify and diagnose. Colitis symptoms are comparable to other intestinal illnesses including irritable bowel syndrome. It is also similar to Crohn’s disease.
Colitis usually begins from blood clots, infections, allergies from food, and lack of bacterial flora. It can sometimes occur in patients undergoing radiation or chemotherapy who have low white blood counts.
To determine if a person has colitis, doctors will perform a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. In each test, a bendable tube is placed in the rectum. Particular regions of the large intestine are evaluated. They can also find out if your colon has been severely damaged and if surgery is needed. Other tests can also be used to determine colitis such as, a CT scan, an X-ray, or MRI of the abdominal area.
Treatment for colitis varies. It depends on the severity of the colitis and how it formed. Antibiotics are usually given for infections. If very severe, surgery may be required, especially if a hole is found in the colon.
It is estimated that close to 2 million Americans suffer from colitis. It can usually be found in young people, generally those before age 30. It can occur in older adults though, especially those 60 years old and older. People at this age can form blood clots that may harm the large intestine and cause colitis to appear. It does not affect men and women differently. For some reason, colitis is seen more often if Caucasian’s and people of Jewish descent.
Hopefully, this article helped you to answer the question “what is colitis?” If you suffer from colitis and have more questions ask your doctor for more information.