What is Ulcerative Colitis?Ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition that causes the body’s gastrointestinal tract to become unusually inflamed. Over time, this inflammation can cause damage to the GI tract. Like Crohn’s disease, acute ulcerative colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), although there is a key difference when it comes to ulcerative colitis vs. Crohn’s disease. Ulcerative colitis occurs only in the large intestine and rectum, while Crohn’s disease can impact any area of the GI tract but usually affects the small intestine. Patients with ulcerative colitis usually develop it between the ages of 15 and 30, according to NIH. While several symptoms can indicate a patient has ulcerative colitis, the root problem is the inflammation and the pain and damage that come when it causes colon ulcers and sores to develop.
What is the Main Cause of Ulcerative Colitis?Inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis are caused by defects in the immune system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Instead of the immune system protecting the body by attacking only foreign things like bacteria or viruses, the immune system becomes triggered by other elements, causing the gastrointestinal tract to become inflamed.
What are the Early Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis?Ulcerative colitis can be extremely painful to those who suffer from it. UC symptoms are the same as many of the signs of Crohn’s disease and may include:
- Appetite loss
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Frequent Diarrhea
- Stools containing blood, mucus or pus
- Rectal pain