Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation and ulcers in the colon and rectum. The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is not known, but it is believed to be related to an overactive immune system and genetic factors.
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis can vary, but typical symptoms include:
- Diarrhea (often with blood or pus)
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Urgency to have a bowel movement
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
Diagnosis of ulcerative colitis typically involves a combination of medical tests, including a physical exam, blood tests, stool tests, and imaging tests.
There is no cure for ulcerative colitis, but treatments can help reduce symptoms and prevent flare-ups. Treatment options for ulcerative colitis may include medications (such as aminosalicylates, corticosteroids, immunomodulators, and biologic drugs), surgery (in severe cases), and lifestyle changes (such as a balanced diet and stress management).
It is important to work closely with a doctor to determine the best treatment plan for you. With proper treatment, most people with ulcerative colitis are able to manage their symptoms and enjoy a healthy and active life.