Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD involves a group of diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract.
UC occurs when the lining of your large intestine, rectum or both becomes inflamed.This inflammation produces tiny spores called ulcers on the lining of your colon. It usually begins in the rectum and spreads upward. It can involve your entire colon.
The inflammation cause your bowel to move its contents rapidly and empty frequently. As cells on the surface of the lining of your bowel die, ulcers form. The ulcers may cause bleeding and discharge of mucus and pus.
The type of ulcerative colitis depends on the location in your body where it occurs –
• Ulcerative proctitis –
It is usually the mildest form. It is only in the rectum ,the part of your colon closest to your anus. . Rectal bleeding is the only sign of the disease.
• Proctosigmoiditis –
It happens in your rectum and the lower end of your colon. Symptoms may be bloody diarrhoea,belly cramps and pain.You may have the urge to poop but you won’t be able to do that.
• Left – sided colitis –
It causes cramps on that side of your belly. Symptom appears is bloody diarrhoea and loss of weight without trying. You will have inflammation from your rectum up through the leftside of your colon.
• Pancolitis –
It often affects your entire colon. It can cause severe bouts of bloody diarrhoea, belly cramps, pain , fatigue and major weightloss.
• Acute severe ulcerative colitis –
It is rare. It affects your entire colon and causes severe pain, heavy diarrhoea, bleeding and fever.
The seriousness of UC symptoms varies among affected people. The symptoms can also change overtime. People diagnosed with UC may experience periods of mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.This is called remission. However, symploom can return and be severe. This is called a flare-up.
The main symptom of UC is bloody diarrhoea. There might be some pus in your stools too.
Other symptoms are as follows-
• Cramping belly pain
• Not being able to hold your stool in
• Pain or bleeding with bowel movements
• Sudden urges to poop
• Feeling like you haven’t completely emptied your colon after you use the bathroom
• Waking up at night also to go to bathroom
• Weight loss
• Feeling tired
• Joint pain
• Mouth sores
• Skin sores
• Eye pain when you look at a bright light
Your symptoms can flare up, go away and come back. You might not have any for weeks or years.
The exact cause of ulcerative colitis remains unknown. Previously, diet and stress were suspected, but now doctors know that these factors may aggravate but donot cause ulcerative colitis.
One possible cause is an immune system malfunction. When your immune system tries to fight off an invading virus or bacterium, an abnormal immune response cause the immune system to attack the cells in the digestive tract, too. Overall, when you have UC, your immune system thinks food, good gut bacteria and the cells that line your colon are the intruders. White blood cells that usually protect you attack the lining of your colon instead, they cause the inflammation and ulcers.
Factors that may play a role in who develops UC include-
• Genes- You may inherit a gene from a parent that increase your chance.
• Other immune disorders – If you have one type of immune disorder,your chance of developing UC becomes higher.
• Environmental factors – Bacteria, viruses and antigens may trigger your Immune system.
• Age – It is most likely if you are between 15 and 35 years old or older than 60 years. In order age, usually men are more prone than females to develop this disease
• Blood test
• Stool test
• CT scan
UC treatment has two main objectives. The first is to make you feel better and give your colon a chance to heal. The second is to prevent more flare ups. You may need a combination of diet changes, medication or surgery to reach those goals.
• Diet –
Some foods can make your symptoms worse.You might find that soft, bland food doesn’t bother you as much as spicy or high-fiber dishes. If you can’t digest the sugar in milk called lactose,you should stop that. A balanced diet with plenty of fiber,lean protein,fruits and veggies should provide enough vitamins and nutrients.
• Medicine –
Your prescription may include following kind of drugs-
• Surgery –
If other treatments don’t work or your UC is severe, you might need surgery to remove your colon (colectomy) or colon and rectum (proctocolectomy).
UC increases your risk for developing colon cancer.
Other complications of UC include –
• Toxic megacolon
• Thickening of the intestinal wall
• Intestinal bleeding
• Severe dehydration
• Sepsis or blood infection
• Rupture of your colon
• Kidney stones
• Inflammation of your skin, joints and eyes
As per Ayurveda, UC can be correlated with Pittatisara, Raktatisara and Raktajapravahika .Due to excessive consumption of Pittaja ahara and pitta aggravating regimen leads to vitiation of Pitta dosha which further causes the vitiation of Rakta dhatu.
Line of treatment –
• Piccha basti –
Picchabasti acts as evacuative as well as sustaining properties. It is sticky or lubricant. Because of this property it has ulcer healing effect.
• Effective medication-
¤ Vijaya Parpati
¤ Praval pisti
¤ Karpura Ras
¤ Nagkesara Churna
¤ Dadimashtaka Churna
¤ Kutajaghan Vati
¤ Dhanyapanchaka Kwath
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