This is a form of inflammatory bowel disease. It causes chronic inflammation ofthe digestive tract. It usually affects the colon and the rectum, causing soresto appear in the lining of the large intestine. People from 15 - 30 years ofage are most likely to get ulcerative colitis. Patients havetiny ulcers and small abscesses in their colon and rectum. These ulcers can flare upperiodically and cause bloody stools and diarrhea.
It is yet to be discovered what the actual cause of this condition is. To thisday, there has been no convincing evidence that it is caused by infection.
Ulcerative colitis is brought on by abnormal activation ofthe immune system in the intestines. The immune system is composed of immunecells that defend the body against harmful foreign invaders (such as bacteria,fungi, etc.). Activation of the immune system causes inflammation. Usually, theimmune system is activated only when the body has been exposed to harmfulinvaders. However, in people with ulcerative colitis, the immune system isabnormally and chronically activated without any invader being present. Thecontinued activation of the immune systems causes chronic inflammation andulceration.
Ulcerative colitis symptoms can vary, depending on theseverity of inflammation and the location where it occurs. Themost common symptoms of this condition are: abdominal pain or cramping,bleeding from the rectum, bloody diarrhea, an urgent need to have a bowelmovement, etc.
One should consult a doctor as soon as they have noticed these symptoms. Ifleft untreated, it can cause other health problems, such as dehydration, osteoporosis,liver disease, perforated colon, etc.
The doctor will prescribe the best course of treatment, depending on theseverity of the disease.
Ulcerative Colitis Diet
With medical treatment and a healthy diet plan, a personshould effectively manage the symptoms and avoid future flare-ups. There are afew thing one should do if he wants to do this properly:
One should avoid eating large meals. Instead, smallermeals more frequently are recommended. In this way, the pressure on thedigestive tract is greatly reduced.
Drink plenty of water. It is very beneficial, as it helps the digestivetract digest food more easily.
One should add foods that are good sources of good fats, carbohydrates andproteins in their diet. This will help minimize the outbreaks by giving thebody enough nutrients.
Eating more fruit and vegetables is one of the ways of helping the body dealwith this condition.
Dairy products should be included in thediet plan. However, this does not apply for people that are lactose intolerant.They can take nutritional supplements.
While including some types of food, it is vital that a person with ulcerativecolitis keeps away from the food that might trigger another outbreak. Theseinclude: sugar, caffeinated beverages, cabbage, broccoli, bean, spicy food,acidic food, alcohol, nuts, greasy food, etc.
One should identify the type of food that triggers the flare-ups, and thensimply avoid it.