Ulcerative Colitis
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What is Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease are the two forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Though the two diseases are similar in symptomatology, crohn’s disease affects any part of the entire digestive tract (and may have patches of unaffected parts throughout) while ulcerative colitis affects only the colon and possibly the rectum. On a microscopic level, crohn’s disease can also affect the entire thickness of the tubular wall of the digestive system while ulcerative colitis only affects the inner most layer, by way of ulcers and open sores, of the mulcerative colitisosal lining. A heightened inflammatory response exacerbates these wounds in the mulcerative colitisosal lining and causes symptoms noticeable to the individual.

Basically, the immune systems of a person with ulcerative colitis continually attacks the lining of their colon. With repeated inflammation, the lining of the colon thickens and sores can develop. The sores further aggravate the lining and cause the symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) describes the immune systems of those with ulcerative colitis as having originally “switched on” to combat a pathogen, but then continues to mistake food, bacteria or other normal intestinal materials as pathogens themselves and seeks to rid them from the body. Additionally, the body sends additional white blood cells into the intestinal lining which accounts for the chronic inflammation.1 The immune response is understood to be the culprit for the...

The most common symptoms of both forms of Inflammatory Bowl Disease (Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease) are:

  • blood or mucus in stool
  • diarrhea anywhere between 4 - 10 times per day
  • abdominal pain
  • bloating
  • fatigue due to loss of blood/nutrients

It is important to know that colorectal cancer, parasites and other infections can also cause similar symptoms and need be ruled out before testing to diagnose either form of inflammatory bowel disease.1 Despite the symptom similarities between both diseases, certain proposed treatment options can significantly vary therefore testing for an accurate diagnosis is advantageous to receive the most effective treatment regime.2 For example, in Crohn’s Disease if there is inflammation of the small intestine,...

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Proposed treatment options can significantly vary therefore testing for an accurate diagnosis is advantageous to receive the most effective treatment regime.

A gastroenterologist can help you monitor your disease and drug therapy. Perhaps it is time to take a few other factors into account. You will want to make sure that any physicians or healers you intended to consult regarding your diagnosis recognize the important of adjunct and collaborative therapies.

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