What is Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease which affects approximately 1 in 400 people in the UK. It is characterized by inflammation in the colon (large bowel) and can affect varying extents of the colon. In most people the disease is relatively mild to moderate but in some cases, the inflammation can be quite severe with patients suffering from severe frequent bloody diarrhoea.
- Abdominal pain
- Eye inflammation
- Joint pains
- Rectal bleeding
- Skin rashes
The cause of ulcerative colitis remains unknown but is likely to be a complex interaction between an environmental factor (possibly such as a microbe in the bowel) triggering an abnormal inflammatory immune response in people with a genetic risk.
Investigations for ulcerative colitis include:
- Blood tests
- Stool tests for infection and inflammation
- Endoscopy (e.g. Flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy)
- Imaging (such as ultrasound, MRI and CT scans)
Treatment is usually with medical therapy such as immunosuppressant medications, however, other options include initial dietary advice, lifestyle changes and simple natural remedies.
If you are concerned about ulcerative colitis or have a family history, you can book a consultation with Dr Goel to discuss investigation and treatment options best suited to you.