Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease that causes inflammation and ulcers on the lining of the large intestine. Ulcerative colitis is one of several illnesses known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The ulcers cause rectal bleeding, pain, cramping, and bloody diarrhea.
The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is not known, but researchers believe that it is an autoimmune disorder. In autoimmune diseases, the body's own immune system turns against parts of the body rather than only attacking foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria. Researches also see strong genetic links and environmental factors as playing a role in the development of ulcerative colitis.
Symptoms include a sudden, urgent need to have a bowel movement. Ulcerative colitis patients also experience fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, and anemia. Occasionally, some patients complain of joint pain, eye irritation, and rashes. If you are experiencing two or more of these symptoms you should make an appointment with Dr. Islam.
To diagnose ulcerative colitis, the doctor will perform a physical exam, order lab work, and an endoscopy of the large intestine. Treatment include medications to help control the symptoms, but there is no cure for ulcerative colitis. There are serious possible complications of ulcerative colitis, including the increased risk of developing colon cancer. For this reason, patients are recommended to begin having colonoscopies at a younger age and increased frequency than otherwise recommend. Your doctor will discuss with you the ideal schedule for monitoring the condition and it is important that you follow those recommendations closely.