Ulcerative Colitis

What Exactly Is Ulcerative Colitis?

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Ulcerative colitis is a chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) with ulceration in the colon.  Approximately 1 million Americans have IBD, half of whom have Ulcerative Colitis (UC).

Both men and women have an equal chance of being affected and the amount of young people with Ulcerative Colitis seems to be increasing at an alarming rate in the western world.

 

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Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis may include

  • Abdominal pain/cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Urgency and feeling of “not all done”
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Intestinal “gurling”
  • Fever
  • Bloating and Gas
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nausea and/or Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Joint pain
  • Skin lesions
  • Anemia

Ulcerative colitis has many of the symptoms that bowel conditions exhibit.  Bacterial, viral, and infections from parasites can be the same as those of ulcerative colitis.

The symptoms of ulcerative colitis have a lot of variety, time of year and onset (rapid or gradual) and vary between one patient and the next.

Common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include rectal bleeding and diarrhea.  Variability of symptoms seem to differ depending on how much of the colon and rectum are involved and the severity of inflammation.

Abdominal pain, cramping and severe urgency to have a bowel movement or feeling like you have to have another bowel movement after you have just gone.  Bloating and gas are common.

Weight loss, fatigue and dehydration is also seen in ulcerative colitis patients.

Other conditions sometimes seen with ulcerative colitis include malnutrition, arthritis, osteoporosis, eye inflammation and liver disease.

Quality of life can be deeply affected for those who suffer with ulcerative colitis.

The disease may involve the entire colon, the rectum only or, more commonly, somehere between the two.

Ulcerative Colitis Lifestyle Rx

Many with ulcerative colitis have had good results by avoiding foods that seem to worsen their symptoms.  Because each person is different, it’s important to take an active role in finding out which foods tend to make your symptoms worse.

Keeping a food diary will show you which foods make your symptoms worse.  You will find that improving your diet (to your own specific needs).

To start with, you may want to avoid:

  • Dairy products
  • Spicy Foods
  • Wheat products
  • Gluten products
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, some teas and soft drinks
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Certain raw fruits and vegetables, especially broccoli, cabbage, apples and carrots
  • Artificial Sweeteners, such as sorbitaol or mannitol.
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