Ulcerative Colitis – Diagnosis, Treatment, and Surgery

Ulcerative Colitis – Diagnosis, Treatment, and Surgery

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that triggers inflammation, irritation, and ulcers in the inside layer of the large intestines also known as the colon.

The symptoms of Ulcerative colitis are intermittent that individual experiences throughout his/her life. It has no cure; however, treatment can help control the disease.

Causes of Ulcerative Colitis

The actual reason for ulcerative colitis is still unknown. However, one possible factor that leads to Ulcerative colitis is the malfunction of the immune system. When the immune system fights against the external virus and bacteria such as seasonal cough and cold. Malfunctioned immune systems attack the cells that are present in the line of the colon.

A family history of Ulcerative colitis could be the one reason for this medical condition. There are other factors too that may develop this disease.

Risk Factors of Ulcerative colitis

There are several factors that can increase of risk of Ulcerative colitis, that include:

  • Heredity – Chances of getting Ulcerative colitis increases by 25-30 percent if have a family history of this disease.
  • Age – It is another risk factor that can affect your health if you’re between the age of 15-30 years or age is more than 60 years.

How many types of Ulcerative colitis are there?

The types of Ulcerative colitis rely upon where it is in your body:

  • Acute severe ulcerative colitis – It is a rare condition that can influence the whole colon and lead to severe pain, bleeding, fever, and diarrhea.
  • Left-sided Colitis – An individual may experience cramps in the abdomen along with bloody diarrhea and start losing weight. You will also experience inflammation from the rectum up all the way through the left section of the colon.
  • Proctosigmoiditis – This condition occurs in the rectum and anus of the colon. An individual may experience pain, bloody diarrhea, or cramps in the abdomen. You may feel the sensation of passing stools, but you will not be able to.
  • Ulcerative proctitis – It is mainly located in the rectum; it is a part of the colon close to the anus. If an individual is experiencing rectal bleeding, it may be an indication of the disease.
  • Pancolitis – It usually influences the whole colon that further leads to severe stints of bloody diarrhea, pain, abdominal cramps, and significant weight loss.

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

One of the main symptoms of ulcerative colitis is bloody diarrhea, you may also have some pus in the stools.

Other symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anemia, is a low level of red blood cells condition
  • Dehydration
  • Problem in holding your stools in
  • Pain or bleeding during bowel movements
  • Fever, joint pain, or soreness
  • Pain in the eye on looking at the bright light
  • Abrupt desire to pass stools
  • Canker and skin sores

An individual can experience an abnormal situation, wherein, symptoms may flare, disappear, or return. This may not have any sequential pattern; you may not experience the symptoms for weeks or years.

What is the difference between Ulcerative Colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and Crohn’s Disease?

Other stomach diseases can have similar symptoms.

  • Ulcerative colitis disease influences the large intestine and its lining.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome has almost similar symptoms as Ulcerative colitis, however, you may experience ulcers and inflammation. It’s a condition where intestines muscles have problems.
  • Crohn’s disease influences other parts of the intestines and causes inflammation.

Diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis

To diagnose Ulcerative colitis, your doctor will prescribe a few tests, that includes:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy – It helps doctors to check the lower section of the colon through a tube with a camera on top inserted through the bottom.
  • Colonoscopy – This test has a similar procedure as flexible sigmoidoscopy, but in this test, the doctor can view the entire colon instead of the lower section.
  • Blood Tests – It is prescribed to check inflammation or anemia.
  • Stool Test – It is conducted to examine the infection or presence of parasites in the colon.
  • X-rays – It is rarely used for examination of disease.

Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis

There are two objectives of the treatment of Ulcerative colitis, one is to make give ample time to heal your colon and the other is to control the sudden rise in the symptoms. In order to achieve these objectives, you need to make a few changes in diet, medicine, or surgery.

  • Diet for Ulcerative Colitis – A few food items can worsen the symptoms. It is always recommended to have soft and bland food rather than spicy or fiber-rich meals. In case you are facing problems in digesting natural sugar in milk also known as lactose, you can avoid dairy products. Your doctor may suggest a balanced diet such as lean protein, green vegetables, fresh fruits that can provide enough vitamins and nutrients.
  • Medicines for Ulcerative Colitis – For the treatment of Ulcerative Colitis, your doctor may prescribe medicines such as antibiotics, Corticosteroids, Immunomodulators, etc.
  • Ulcerative Colitis Surgery – The doctor may suggest surgery if other treatment doesn’t respond. Your doctor may suggest removing the colon also known as colectomy or colon and rectum also known as proctocolectomy. In a proctocolectomy procedure, the surgeon creates a small pocket out of the small intestine and joins it to the anus. This procedure is known as ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA). This allows the body to remove waste normally and the patient doesn’t need to carry a bag to gather stool.

Complications of Ulcerative Colitis

An individual may experience the following complications:

  • Bleeding – An individual can experience anemia because of Ulcerative colitis.
  • Weak bones – Your bones may get weak due to the diet you consume or taking excess corticosteroids can influence your bones.
  • Dehydration – An individual may receive fluids through a vein, in case, the large intestine is not able to absorb as much as necessary.
  • Inflammation – This can influence the skin, eyes, or joints.
  • Fulminant colitis – An individual may experience a condition where the colon might burst, or infection spread across the body due to a severe attack of Ulcerative colitis.
  • Megacolon – It is unusual dilation of the colon. This is a severe medical condition that needs surgery.
  • Liver disease – In this condition, the bile duct or liver gets inflamed, or you may get scar tissue in the liver.
  • Colon Cancer – The risk of getting colon cancer increases due to ulcerative colitis, particularly if the entire large intestine is impacted or an individual has ulcerative colitis for a long time.


For many individuals, ulcerative colitis is a chronic, or long-term medical condition that has sudden rise or many intervals with no symptoms, whatsoever.  A few individuals may experience ulcerative colitis attacks once and may not get them again.

About 10 percent of the individuals with ulcerative colitis, have their first attack and immediately get worse. In many individuals, the infection spreads to the large intestine over a period. This makes the colon cancerous, however, 50 percent of the individuals with colon cancer survive if it is diagnosed early and the doctor removes the colon.


For more information on Ulcerative Colitis – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and consultation with us. You can contact our healthcare expert today at +1 (817) 748-0200. You can also make an online appointment with us.

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