About Ulcerative Colitis
This inflammatory bowel disease closely mimics another disease called Crohn's disease that also falls under the same category and presents a similar picture of pain, bleeding from the rectum and loose stools.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis differ in that ulcerative colitis almost always involves only the large bowel whereas Crohn's can occur in any part of the digestive tract.
Ulcerative colitis tends to run in families and was for some reason is not seen in Asians, Africans, South Americans and people from Eastern Europe. The incidence is higher in Whites and people of Jewish descent however increasing globalization is reducing this trend.
Ulcerative colitis affects less than 0.1% of the population and has an incidence of 35 to 1100 per 100,000 in the United States.
Though the cause is unknown, it is touted to be an immune-linked disorder; an attack, responds to steroids and immunosuppressant drugs. Like other diseases of immune origin, there is no cure for ulcerative colitis.
The severity of ulcerative colitis symptoms depends on the extent of involvement of the intestines, with limited involvement causing milder symptoms. Extensive involvement or pan colitis can give rise to repeated diarrhea, bleeding, and severe crampy pain, necessitating intense medical treatment. The chronic form of the disease gives the patient a wasted look. Malcolm B. Docherty, M.D, wrote about the chronic disease as follows -
"Oh give me carcinoma of the spine.
Or crazed from lues let my spirit fly;
But suffer not misfortune to be mine
From Chronic Ulcerative colitis to waste away and die."
A fulminant colitis with fever or perforation may require surgery.
Barium enemas were used in the past to diagnose the condition, nowadays; actual visualization of the ulcers with biopsy is possible with the help of a colonoscopy.
Regular follow up is mandatory in those with early onset and long duration of illness as this condition can often lead to colonic cancer in the long run.
Interesting To Know
Latest Publications and Research on Ulcerative Colitis[Mucosal protection by phosphatidylcholine as new therapeutic concept in ulcerative colitis]. - Published by PubMed
Organizing pneumonia presenting after ulcerative colitis remission. - Published by PubMed
Vitamin D Receptor and Retinoid X Receptor Alpha Status and Vitamin D Insufficiency in Models of Murine Colitis. - Published by PubMed
Presenting features and disease course of pediatric ulcerative colitis. - Published by PubMed
Incidence and Phenotype of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Based on Results from the Asia-Pacific Crohn's and Colitis Epidemiology Study. - Published by PubMed