Ulcerative colitis can be defined as an inflammatory condition that affects the digestive tract, especially the colon, although it also sometimes presents symptoms in other parts of the body such as the liver or eyes, as well as in the skin.
Its first manifestation, obviously, is diarrhea, although its symptomatology is much broader. In we explain all the symptoms and treatment of ulcerative colitis so that you know how to recognize it and put yourself in the hands of specialists as soon as possible because it is a pathology that can be related to others such as Crohn's disease and even colon cancer.
Symptoms of an ulcerative colitis flare-up
Ulcerative colitis, in fact, is not very well known why it appears, although most clinical studies and research confirm that it is related to the immune system of the person who suffers from it. What the scientific and medical community does agree on is the symptoms, some of which manifest themselves with less or greater intensity, reaching in these cases to have serious outbreaks. In addition, they can appear suddenly or gradually. Among the first symptoms that are noticed are:
- Colic or diarrhea: it is normal to notice discomfort in the digestive system, being common for the person with ulcerative colitis to have diarrhea. In this way, you will have to go frequently to evacuate soft stools, even expelling fluid. There are patients who only have one episode of diarrhea, while in others it is more frequent and they feel it even if they have totally empty intestines.
- Abdominal pain: sometimes accompanied by swelling, it is another of the clearest symptoms and that, in general, manifest all patients with greater or lesser intensity. This, in addition, is accompanied by a characteristic sound in the intestine, which is similar to when you are very hungry, but which is actually produced by the inner movement of the gut.
- Blood in the stool: it is also possible that pus is present in the droppings.
- Fever: This is another of the clearest symptoms of ulcerative colitis. By itself it is not a clear sign, but it is when it occurs along with the rest of the symptomatology.
- Weight loss: It is also common in patients with ulcerative colitis due to continuous bowel movements. In addition, they sometimes restrict the amount of food they eat because other common symptoms are nausea and vomiting.
- Mouth sores: or ulcers in the mouth are another symptom that you have ulcerative colitis, since this disease, as we have mentioned above, is also reflected in other parts of the body that are not the intestines. Bumps may also appear on the patient's skin.
- Lack of growth: In children, a clear symptom may be lack of growth or physical development unsuitable for their age.
Treatment of ulcerative colitis
The treatment of ulcerative colitis focuses, mainly, to reduce or eliminate acute and sudden attacks, in addition to helping to improve the state of the colon so that the patient notices the improvement and can lead a more normal life. However, when a severe episode occurs, even the person may need to be hospitalized.
In general, the doctor usually prescribes corticosteroids, antibiotics or immunosuppressants, among other possible drugs such as anti-TNF monoclonal antibodies, which are more modern.
The doctor may also prescribe a treatment that is based on granulocyteophrenis to absorb blood cells, which are the ones that cause inflammation in a more continuous way.
Diet for ulcerative colitis
In addition to these most common drugs, the treatment of ulcerative colitis also requires careful nutrition. In fact, it's critical because there are foods that can trigger an outbreak. In addition, it is always recommended to eat in small amounts throughout the day, apart from drinking plenty of water to be well hydrated and avoid dehydration if an outbreak occurs.
Prohibited Foods for Ulcerative Colitis
Within the prohibited foods or to be avoided, it is important to limit the intake of dairy even if they are a source of protein and calcium. Nor should you consume all those that are rich in fiber, to avoid an excess of bowel movements, such as bran, popcorn, nuts, seeds or legumes. It is also not good to take very fatty or fried foods or sauces such as butter or margarine because they help move the intestine.
Surgical treatment for ulcerative colitis
In those cases, in which the patient does not respond to drugs and diet, surgical intervention may be necessary. A solution that is also used in those patients who have an increased risk of colon cancer.
Surgery, in turn, is indicated when changes have occurred in the lining of the intestine, there are often bleeding of a certain intensity or the colon has ruptured.
These are the symptoms and treatment of ulcerative colitis that we have told you in, although you should always go to the doctor to do the necessary tests, prescribe the treatment and monitor your progress.