A structural disorder of the intestine is known as Ulcerative Colitis. The disorder involves the inflammation of the intestine, especially in the areas lining the colon and rectum. An ulcer will occur in areas where the intestine has become inflamed, resulting in death of the cells. This cell death can also be accompanied by bleeding, formation of pus, and a feeling of continually needing to empty the intestine. This results in the person developing diarrhea. The diarrhea is a result of the inflammation process occurring at the surface of the intestine.
Ulcerative colitis only refers to inflammation that is occurring in the colon, whereas inflammation and ulcers in the rectum and the entire colon is known as ulcerative proctitis and pancolitis, respectively.
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease, which is different than Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS is a collection of different symptoms that will indicate a disease, whereas a disease can include a syndrome. The main goal of the health professional is to distinguish Ulcerative Colitis from Crohn’s Disease which can presents with similar symptoms.
This disease can affect someone from any age, but is more common in people between the ages of 16 to 32. It is not as common in people over 50 years of age, even though it is possible. Ulcerative colitis is not bias against gender, and will affect men and women equally. It does have a genetic inheritance, with a twenty percent of the people diagnosed with the disease, also having a family member with ulcerative colitis. Studies have shown that incidence is higher in someone who is Caucasian and of Jewish descent.
The main symptoms of any experiencing ulcerative colitis involve diarrhea, nausea, fever, and pain in the abdomen. The disease is also associated with anemia if the bleeding is severe. Severity can also lead to loss of weight and appetite, and general feeling of fatigue.
With bleeding and diarrhea, ulcerative colitis is disease that would require a colon that is as clean as possible to properly maintain.