Ulcerative colitis refers to disorder caused by inflammations, called ulcers that occur in the lining of the rectum and colon. It is an inflammatory bowel disease. This disorder is difficult to be diagnosed because the symptoms exhibited are almost similar to other intestinal irregularities.
It often gets misinterpreted as Crohn’s disease. But in case of Crohn’s disease, the inflammation is much deeper and certain other parts of the digestive system are affected.
Ulcers occur in those parts where inflammation has resulted in the destruction of lining cells of the colon. Bleeding and pus are usually seen due to this irregularity. Inflammation in the colon is also likely to develop diarrhoea.
If the inflammation is found in the rectum or in the lower part of the colon, such a situation is termed as ulcerative proctitis. If inflammation occurs inside the entire colon, it is termed as pancolitis. Distal colitis refers to that situation in which only the left side of the colon is affected.
Ulcerative colitis is found in people of all age groups. However the initial symptoms of this disorder are found between the ages of 15 and 30. Both men and women are equally affected by Ulcerative colitis. The most common symptoms of this intestinal irregularity include abdominal pain and bloody diarrhoea. In some cases, patients may also experience anaemia, fatigue, weight loss, rectal bleeding, loss of appetite, joint pain, skin lesions etc.
Ulcerative colitis is found to result in certain other problems such as arthritis, liver disease, inflammation of the eye and osteoporosis. Why exactly the irregularities appear outside the colon is yet to be found out. However, it is believed that such inflammations are resulted by immune system disorders.
Scientists opine that the body’s immune system reacts abnormally to certain bacteria in the digestive tract and ultimately causes Ulcerative colitis. However, sensitivity to certain food materials generally does not result in this problem.