Ulcerative Colitis: A Still-Unknown Disease
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis can be confused with other diseases and may come and go with time. It's best to see a specialist for a diagnosis.
If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, the first thing you need to do is understand this disease.
Knowing what symptoms you are going to experience helps you be prepared, and in turn identify the best strategies to deal with them on a day to day basis to have a better quality of life.
It’s important to note that today this disease is still largely unknown. Its causes are still under study.
That’s why it’s a good idea to stay up-to-date on everything related to ulcerative colitis in case you are a sufferer.
In today’s article we want to help you by giving you broad information on certain aspects that you might find useful.
What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease that affects the large intestine, in particular the colon. The lining of this part of your body becomes inflamed and sores or ulcers begin to develop, producing pus and mucus.
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- This combination of inflammation and ulcer formation is accompanied by significant abdominal discomfort that is focused on the area of your colon.
- Remember that pain in the colon can be concentrated in various regions, just below your navel or on the left or right side. There is one thing that never fails, however: when you lay down, the pain subsides.
- It’s important to understand that there is a clear difference between ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These are two different disorders.
- Crohn’s disease can affect any part of your gastrointestinal tract, while ulcerative colitis is focused exclusively on your colon and the mucosa there.
- Both of these are inflammatory intestinal diseases, but they are not to be confused with irritable bowel syndrome that is so prevalent among women.
That ailment is a disorder that affects the muscle contractions of the colon.
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis
Most people who are suffering from ulcerative colitis primarily complain of recurring and intense abdominal pain.
It’s important to know these general symptoms:
- Your stools are softer and you may occasionally suffer from diarrhea. One sure sign is the possible appearance of blood in the stool.
- You may lose weight.
- It’s common to feel significant fatigue and a loss of energy.
- Children who suffer from ulcerative colitis tend to develop and grow more slowly. That’s why you should never ignore diarrhea in children.
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis tend to come and go. Some people may suffer about twice a month for two to three years before it subsides.
You should always get a correct medical diagnosis and professional help, however.
Possible causes of ulcerative colitis
Studies on ulcerative colitis indicate that the inflammation could be due to the complex interaction of several different factors, including genetics, your immune system, and environmental elements.
- If either of your parents suffered from ulcerative colitis you may also wind up developing the disease.
- There are certain active substances in your environment (antigens) that can also cause this disease.
Your immune system doesn’t know how to defend itself against these external enemies, leading to inflammation of the area of the colon.
- Ulcerative colitis, therefore, may be the result of the interaction of a virus or a bacterial infection of the colon, and it’s your body’s innate immune system response.
This disease affects men and women equally, and usually appears around 30 years of age.
Natural remedies for ulcerative colitis
As we’ve mentioned throughout this article, it’s vital to have a good diagnosis and monitoring by health professionals if you suffer from ulcerative colitis.
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On our part, we can suggest some basic tips and simple home remedies that you can keep in mind. Just try to find out which are best suited to your particular and personal needs.
- Try keeping a diet that’s as natural as possible, avoiding things made from gluten or dairy products. You should also avoid preservatives and pre-cooked meals.
- Increase your consumption of foods that are rich in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts, salmon, olive oil, avocados…).
- Modifying your lifestyle is also important: managing stress and negative emotions, stop smoking, and get more exercise…
- Increase your intake of vitamin C.
- Drink parsley tea every day to help eliminate toxins and chemicals from your body.
- Drink natural beverages made from a mixture of mineral water and apple, carrot, or cucumber juice.