Ulcerative colitis is a disease that results in inflammation and ulcers in the lining of the rectum and colon. This condition falls under the category of inflammatory bowel disease.
Ulcerative colitis can occur at any age but usually begins between 15 and 30 years. It tends to be hereditary. The most prominent and general symptoms are abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. Other symptoms may include:
- Severe fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Rectal hemorrhage
- Sores on the skin
- Joint pain
- Growth problems in children
- Approximately half of people with ulcerative colitis have mild symptoms.
Risk factors for ulcerative colitis
- Infectious: has not yet been able to relate to a particular microorganism, but it seems the most logical option since a minor infection could activate the immune system in the wrong way.
- Environmental: Being a more common disease in cities than in rural areas, a relationship with environmental pollution is suspected.
- Psychological: stress and emotional traumas can trigger outbreaks of ulcerative colitis.
The endoscopy with biopsies is the only way to establish a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis. The introduction of a camera probe and the obtaining of samples for biopsy allow to recognize the physiognomy and the essential characteristics of the tissues affected by the disease: erythema, loss of the usual pattern of vascularization, granularity, erosions, tissue inconsistency, bleeding and Ulcerations. Other methods include Colonoscopy, simple radiography, virtual colonography, and gastroscopy.
The treatment of ulcerative colitis is based on type, symptoms, and severity.
- Antibiotics: They are used as a base to eliminate infections that may be in the intestine.
- Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids are an effective anti-inflammatory. However, they are not usually the preferred medicine since they are attributed specific side effects, especially of aesthetic tendencies such as the appearance of stretch marks, body hair or acne.
- Salicylates: Also known as aminosalicylates. They are the first measure in case of mild and sporadic outbreaks.
- Immunosuppressant: These are drugs that are aimed at regulating the immune system responsible for controlling ulcerative colitis.
- Surgical treatment: In the treatment of ulcerative colitis, surgery is used in two exceptional cases:
- When the disease is very advanced, and you must proceed with urgency.
- When the condition is chronic and does not respond adequately to treatment, causing the exhaustion of the intestines and the patient.