Overview 

Ulcerative colitis symptoms vary in frequency and severity across patients.

Around half of those diagnosed with the disease experience mild symptoms while some experience more severe symptoms.

Typically, the severity of the symptoms is related to the amount of colon injury.

Although ulcerative colitis may begin at any age, it is most commonly diagnosed in young adults between the ages of 15 and 25.

In most cases, children are not impacted by these illnesses. Women, on the other hand, are more often afflicted by the disease than men.

In addition, the disease has a higher prevalence among those between the ages of 50 and 70 years.

Let’s look at the signs, symptoms and how self-medication can avoid flare-ups when suffering from Ulcerative Colitis.

 

What You Need to Know?

Ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune illness affecting the colon and rectum that develops over time.
It is a type of inflammatory bowel illness that is associated with Crohn’s disease.

The inflammation causes the lining tissue to deteriorate, resulting in ulcers that are prone to breaking and bleeding.

While some symptoms are identical to Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis affects mainly the large intestine and rectum, while Crohn’s disease may affect any digestive tract area.

Unfortunately, there is no cure to this condition and doctors are yet to identify the exact causes why people develop ulcerative colitis.

People suffering from it can have flare ups and remissions throughout their life.

With the right treatment, these can be properly managed and minimized.

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Signs & Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis You Need to Look For

 

A patient with ulcerative colitis frequently experiences two different types of symptoms:

– Problematic periods or flare-ups

– Symptom-free episodes or remissions

Because the symptoms differ from case to case, it is often treated differently based on the kind of episodes a patient is having at the time.

In general, regardless of the symptoms, ulcerative colitis patients may experience the following symptoms:

– Mouth ulcers

– Eye infections

– Arthritis

– Skin problems

– Blood clots

– Lactose intolerance

– Metabolic disorders

 

The Most Frequent Symptoms Are as Follows:

  • Pain in the gut
  • Diarrhea accompanying bleeding
  • Lethargy (fatigue)
  • Malnutrition
  • Appetite loss
  • Rectal hemorrhage
  • Body fluids and nutrients depletion
  • Blood loss (anemia) as a result of severe hemorrhage

Symptoms Including the Following May Also Occur in Certain Cases:

  • Skin infections
  • Rashes
  • Joint inflammation
  • Osteoporosis
  • Redness and swelling in the eye(s)
  • Disorders of the liver
  • Kidney stones

Ulcerative Colitis Flare-Up

 

Symptoms of ulcerative colitis recur after a prolonged period of remission are known as flare-ups.

The symptoms of this condition may include diarrhea, stomach discomfort and cramps, colorectal pain and hemorrhage, tiredness, and the need to flush often.

Since nobody fully understands this condition yet, what causes the flare-ups are also unknown. Researchers think that ulcerative colitis is the result of the overreaction of the immune system.

Stress and your diet may trigger flare-ups so it’s best to keep a food diary and carefully observe your body’s reaction to the foods you eat.

Sooner or later, you will be able to have a rough idea of which food you will want to avoid.

Keeping your stress levels in check may not only prevent another flare-up but also a host of other unwanted situations.

So, keep an active lifestyle, take a mental break once in a while, and be more mindful of your overall lifestyle. 

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How to Ease Symptoms Associated with a Flare

 

Abdominal discomfort and diarrhea are just a couple of the unpleasant symptoms that might occur during an ulcerative colitis flare.

Here are some things you may need to know to relieve the discomfort during an episode of a flare-up.

The Most Important Step

The first method to manage an ulcerative colitis flare is to have a confirmed diagnosis as soon as possible and to begin treatment right away.

This may be difficult given the fact that persons suffering from the condition may mistakenly attribute their symptoms to other gastrointestinal disorders.

After confirming the diagnosis, you will undergo endoscopic and deep remission treatment and medications.

The aim of remission is to feel well enough for most of the day that you forget you have the disease; in other regards, you experience few, if there are any, symptoms.

Take particular care if you are exposed to any possible causes of ulcerative colitis.

For instance, some commonly used medicines may trigger flares.

The Next Steps

The most effective way to reduce the duration of a flare is, of course, to seek medical attention. However, there are some things that you can easily do at home as well.

When you are experiencing a flare, following a low-residue diet for several weeks can be beneficial. Avoiding fiber-rich meals in this manner allows your colon to relax.

Fresh fruits and vegetables, raw vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and other fiber-rich foods should be avoided at all costs.

Diet can have an impact on inflammation and can even help to reduce it.

When a person is having a severe flare, it is critical that they follow a low fiber diet for a short period of time until the flare is under control.

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Ulcerative Colitis Remission

Remission arises when UC medical treatments successfully manage or resolve inflammation of the colon, resulting in a reduction in the severity of the symptoms.

The duration of remission might range from a few weeks to several months or even years.

If the drugs have been effective and no other contributing factors cause a flare-up. In that case, the condition may be able to remain in remission for an extended period, even decades.

Even if the UC is in remission for years, it is critical to continue taking the prescriptions in order to avoid serious future flare-ups of the disease.

 

Other Ways to Manage Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

Getting treatment is, without a doubt, the first and most important move you should take if you are experiencing serious symptoms of UC.

However, if you are having relatively minor or manageable symptom occurrences, you can try these symptom-specific strategies as an alternative.

Self-Management

In some occasions, an individual with UC may be able to find relief from their symptoms by making modest changes to their lifestyle. The following changes have the potential to provide significant benefits:

– In order to cope with the emotional repercussions of UC, taking part in group         counseling or joining support networks may help.

– Exercising on a regular basis can facilitate weight management and metabolism.

Dietary Changes

Dietary restrictions and modifications can be beneficial in reducing symptoms and flare-ups in patients who have ulcerative colitis. Among these modifications are the following:

  • Individuals with UC often suffer from lactose intolerance, abstaining from dairy and milk products can help manage the symptoms.
  • Cutting down on the consumption of foods containing fats and butter.
  • Because many people with UC have insufficient nutritional absorption, it is beneficial to start taking calcium and vitamin D supplements to avoid calcium deficiency and bone loss.
  • Maintain an electrolyte balance, because UC patients frequently suffer from diarrhea, which results in dehydration.
  • Small but frequent meals so as not to overwhelm your digestive tract. They may be small, but they should be balanced meals and not snacks.
  • Drinking enough fluids (water) to keep from being dehydrated.

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Coping and Support for Ulcerative Colitis

UC patients can benefit from prescription medications as well as some dietary and lifestyle modifications to help them stay in remission longer.

Since there is little known as to what causes ulcerative colitis and how to cure it, stress management, regular exercise, and avoiding dietary triggers are all things that are likely to be beneficial to your health.

It is important to address this condition proactively rather than having to spend the day at the loo.

 

Be Informed

One of the best ways to be more in control is to find out as much as possible about Ulcerative Colitis.

 

Join a Support Group

These can provide valuable information about your condition as well as emotional support.

Group members frequently know about the latest medical treatments or integrative therapies. You may also find it reassuring to be among others with Ulcerative Colitis.

 

Talk to a Therapist

Some people find it helpful to consult a mental health professional who is familiar with inflammatory bowel disease and the emotional difficulties it can cause.

Spoke Research is currently recruiting for an Ulcerative Colitis trial – Apply Here

 

 

Medical surveys

Future treatments are now one step closer. 

Contact us

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

0215518678

Mon – Thurs: 08:00-15:00
Fri: 08:00-12:00
Sat: Closed

info@spokeresearch.co.za

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