What is Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the large intestine and rectum. The disease is marked by periods of inflammation followed by periods of remission.

Symptoms can vary from person to person, but may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever, fatigue, and weight loss.

There is no cure for ulcerative colitis, but treatment can help control symptoms.

In this article we will explore the disease, it’s symptoms and how a clinical trial can be beneficial for you to take part in.


Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms


UC causes inflammation and sores, called ulcers, in the lining of the large intestine. 

The most common symptoms of UC are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Urgency
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Rectal bleeding

Ulcerative Colitis is an autoimmune disease, meaning the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues.

Ulcerative Colitis can also cause inflammation of the joints, skin, and eyes. The cause of UC is not known, but it is believed to be due to a combination of environmental and genetic factors.


What Causes Ulcerative Colitis


The cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown, but it is believed to be the result of a combination of environmental, immunologic, and genetic factors.

Symptoms of ulcerative colitis may include abdominal pain, cramping, urgency, diarrhea, and blood in the stool. Treatment for ulcerative colitis may include medications, diet and lifestyle changes, and surgery.




Ulcerative Colitis is diagnosed through a combination of symptoms, medical history, and lab tests.

To get a proper diagnosis on ulcerative colitis, an endoscopic procedure with a tissue biopsy is needed to confirm this.

Other types of tests can help rule out complications or other forms of inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease.

To help confirm a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, you may have one or more of the following tests and procedures:

Blood Test Your doctor might suggest a blood test to see if you might be suffering from anemia. 

Anemia is when you do not have enough red blood cells to supply adequate oxygen to your tissue.

Blood tests are also used to check for signs of infection.

Stool Test Proteins or white blood cells in your stool can indicate that you are suffering from ulcerative colitis.

Other disorders such as infections caused by bacteria, parasites and viruses can also be diagnosed through a stool test.

Colonoscopy A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that enables a doctor to view the entire length of the large intestine, or colon.

This is done by inserting a long, thin tube called a colonoscope into the rectum and advancing it through the entire length of the colon.

The colonoscope transmits images of the intestine to a video monitor, allowing the doctor to detect any abnormalities, such as polyps or tumors.

Flexible SigmoidoscopyA flexible sigmoidoscopy is a medical procedure that allows your doctor to see inside your rectum and lower colon.

This procedure can help your doctor diagnose and treat problems in these areas. Your doctor may recommend a flexible sigmoidoscopy if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms: rectal bleeding, persistent diarrhea, constipation, or pain in the lower abdomen.

The flexible sigmoidoscopy is a quick and painless procedure. You will be given a sedative to help you relax, and then the sigmoidoscope will be inserted into your rectum.


Treatment Options for Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis treatment typically involves either drug therapy or surgery. Surgery is only necessary when the case is severe, and no other treatment can work.

Depending on the severity of your condition, there are several categories of drugs that may be effective in treating ulcerative colitis.

The condition does affect individuals differently due to the complexity of each person’s immune system and the way it interacts with the colon.

Therefore, it is essential for one to consult with one’s doctor personally to find the potential solution for one’s specific situation.

Ulcerative colitis is a serious disease that can lead to life-threatening complications.  There is no cure for UC, but there are treatments that can help control the symptoms.

Treatment options include:

  • Medications like anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Diet modifications
  • Surgery
  • Immune system suppressors
  • Other medications such as anti-diarrheal medications, antispasmodics, and iron supplements


Lifestyle & Home Remedies


Suffering from Ulcerative colitis may cause you to feel helpless and frustrated.  By taking control of your lifestyle and diet, you can control your symptoms and prevent flare-ups.

Keeping a food diary can be very helpful, this way you can keep track of what you are eating, which foods causes flare-ups and what to avoid going forward.

Here you will find some general suggestions that may help you to manage your condition:

  • Talk to a dietician
  • Eat smaller meals
  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Exercise regularly
  • Breathing exercise and relaxation


What Is a Clinical Trial?


clinical trial is a research study that evaluates a new medical treatment.

These studies are done in phases, typically with three phases being the norm.

The first phase of clinical trials evaluates the drug for safety, to determine side effects.

The second phase measures the effectiveness of the drug against the illness, to determine side effects and start determining the dosage.  It is usually compared to a placebo or dummy drug, to see how well it works.

The final and third phase recruits more patient numbers, continues to assess the effectiveness of the drug against the illness, determine side effects and narrows down the correct dosage.

The trail drug is still usually compared to a placebo, or it can be compared against a drug already available on the market.  

Clinical trials are typically conducted by pharmaceutical companies, at sites like ours at Spoke Research.


Clinical Trials for Ulcerative Colitis

There is currently no cure for Ulcerative Colitis, however there are a variety of treatment options available that can help to manage the symptoms.

There are a number of clinical trials currently recruiting participants who have Ulcerative Colitis. Clinical trials are research studies that test new treatments or drugs for diseases and conditions.

Clinical trials offer the opportunity to receive innovative new treatments that may not be available elsewhere. If you are interested in learning more about clinical trials, contact us for some in depth information regarding the clinical trials we offer.

If you are interested in helping us, find new treatments for Ulcerative Colitis, please consider taking part in our clinical trials.

Apply for Ulcerative Colitis Trial



Conclusion:  Contact the Experts


It’s important to explore the many complementary therapies out there that can assist with Ulcerative Colitis.

As with any chronic illness, you will require to stay on top of your health, with the assistance of a qualified medical practitioner to guide you, at all times.

Dr George and Dr Deetlefs are clinical investigators at Spoke Research Inc and became involved in Clinical Research in 2017, and now run the Inflammatory Bowel Disease trials.

If you’d like to take part in a clinical trial, join us here:

Apply for Crohn’s Disease Trial

Apply for Ulcerative Colitis Trial

We are here to provide you with expert medical advice in the field of clinical research with years of experience.

Contact us to find out more on clinical trials and treatment.



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Spoke Research Inc
Mediclinic Milnerton,
Suite 109
Racecourse Rd, Milnerton
Cape Town


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