What are IBD?
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammation of the colon, which is large intestine and a part of digestive system with anus at the end of it and Crohn's disease is inflammatory process that affects only the parts of bowels or lining of the digestive tract. These two diseases together are known as IBD, or inflammatory bowel disease, and if untreated properly, it can lead to serious cases of diarrhea malnutrition and strong abdominal pain.
Causes of Ulcerative Colitis
Causes of Ulcerative colitis are still unknown. At one point, presence of stress or bad diet were attributed to possible causes of Ulcerative Colitis, but now it is known that many factors can attribute to development of this disorder, and now it is believed that heredity factors or disturbance in the immune system functions may be responsible.
Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis
Symptoms of Ulcerative colitis may be very strong and appear suddenly. Some of these symptoms may be fatigue, diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramping and pain, appetite loss or reduced appetite, ulcers on the surface of the intestine, etc. In cases of Ulcerative colitis many complications are possible, and it may be diarrhea, blockage or obstruction of intestines, anal fissures, malnutrition, abdominal pain, appearance of abscess or fistulas, excessive bleeding in the intestines, open sores or ulcers, bowel obstruction or perforation, etc.
Treatments for Ulcerative Colitis
Problem is that Ulcerative colitis can not be successfully cured surgically. If small intestines, stomach or colon are affected, and if the affected portions are surgically removed, inflammation can still be recurrent. There are two most common type of surgery for Ulcerative colitis. One is called restorative proctocolectomy, and the other is called ileostomy.
There are also some alternative therapies for Ulcerative colitis like homeopathy or herbal remedies. As for medicaments, Ulcerative colitis can not be cured with them, but they can improve the quality of your life, induce or maintain reemissions and minimize the side effects of treatments. Most medications prescribed in cases of Ulcerative colitis are either anti inflammatory drugs like 5-ASA compounds and topical or systemic corticosteroids or immunomodulators.
In the group of topical 5–ASA medicaments you can found olsalazines like Dipentum, masalamines like Asacol, Pentasa or Rowasa enema and sulfasalazines like Azulfidine.
Sulfa free 5-ASA compounds like Pentasa, Asacol, Rowasa, Dipentum or Asacol all produce much less undesired side effects than Azulfidine, which contains sulfa. Also all of these medicaments that contains 5-ASA compounds are topical anti inflammatory medicaments.