Ulcerative Colitis Explained

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.

Controlling your symptoms may include medication, lifestyle changes and keeping a journal of what you eat in order to manage your UC properly.

Several different factors contribute to an increased risk of ulcerative colitis, including diet and your way of life, and things that are completely out of your control, such as age and hereditary factors.

In this article we will explore the disease, its symptoms, causes, lifestyle changes, and how a clinical trial can be beneficial for you to take part in.


Ulcerative Colitis vs Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease, affecting one in 150 people, is a form of bowel inflammation that causes intense pain, diarrhea, and other unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms.

Although the disease can appear at any age and affects men and women equally, the average age of onset is between 16 to 30 years old.

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disorder that causes ulcers in the rectum and colon if left chronic.

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are both inflammatory bowel diseases that cause inflammation and sores in the lining of the digestive system.

In some ways, they can be thought of as two sides of a coin.

Both diseases normally first strike in early adulthood – although many people when younger will have non-specific bowel symptoms.

They may also suffer from abdominal bloating, pain, and diarrhea early on, but these symptoms appear to be much less common, because most people will respond to treatment, or their symptoms improve over time without treatment.




Causes of 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, lifestyle changes, and surgery.

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis


The following are the most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Urgency
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Weight Loss
  • Rectal Bleeding

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.

Diet Changes


Ulcerative colitis is one of those problems and if left untreated can lead to a lifetime of pain and discomfort and reoccurring flare-ups with abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea being the main symptoms.

The best diet for ulcerative colitis patients is an exclusion diet that avoids food triggers, irritants, and chemical irritants that are personal to each patient.

One good way of looking after your health is to eat so that you feel nourished by the food that you eat. The food that you serve should be digestible and wholesome to allow for maximum nutrient absorption.

It’s a good idea to avoid processed foods as much as possible, especially if you have any digestive problems like ulcerative colitis or irritable bowel syndrome, which means an inflamed colon or intestines.

Colitis can cause nausea and vomiting resulting in loss of fluids and electrolytes, which need to be replenished when ulcerative colitis attacks occur. 



Tips on Lifestyle Changes

People with ulcerative colitis should consider lifestyle changes to improve their condition, these can include diet and exercise program.

The list below outlines some of the lifestyle changes that have shown to be beneficial in reducing symptoms and improving overall health.

Some general suggestions to lifestyle changes may include the following:

  • Keep a food diary
  • Exercise regularly
  • Talk to a dietician
  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Eat smaller meals
  • Relaxation exercise
  • Breathing exercise

Remember to consult your healthcare professional before beginning any new wellness regime, so you can talk through the best way to go about it.

Some people find that meditation or yoga allows them to relax and control their stress levels.

It’s crucial to discover what works satisfactory for you and to make time for yourself.


Treatments Available

Ulcerative colitis is, unfortunately, incurable.

However, it is possible to manage the condition’s effects and decrease its frequency of recurrence.

Doctors provide medications to manage the inflammation in the large intestine and allow for remission when their symptoms go away.

When you have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, it’s crucial to see your doctor to discover the first-class manner to treat it.

There are a spread of remedies available, which includes medicine, surgical treatment, and lifestyle adjustments.

With the proper care, you could control your circumstance and lead a complete and productive life.



Join a Clinical Trial

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.

The clinical research itself has a set of four phases according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Each phase will build upon the previous ones and will have to answer different questions about the new medication.

Phase I – Involves testing new drugs in a small group of people. This phase aims to assess the safe dosage range and determine any possible side effect.

Phase II – Those that meet the safety criteria in Phase I will now move to the second phase and will be testing a bigger sample size for observation of adverse side effects.

Phase III – Moving to this phase will include an even bigger sample size from different regions and countries. Good results in Phase III usually means the new treatment is approved.

Phase IV – The new treatment is approved, and further testing is conducted in a larger population over a longer period of time.


Get Access to the Latest Inflammatory Bowel Disease Treatments

Volunteering for Spoke Research clinical trials gives you access to the most current Inflammatory Bowel Disease treatments.

You will be treated by our gastrointestinal or GI specialist with a track record of diagnosing and treating various gastrointestinal conditions, as well as helping develop and improve therapies for disease management.



Chat to the Experts

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, always.

Dr Gosia George and Dr Eduan 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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Future treatments are now one step closer. 

Contact us

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


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