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Ulcerative Colitis: Symptoms, Causes, Risks and Treatments

By EmpowHER
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Colitis, which is officially known as ulcerative colitis, is a type of chronic inflammatory bowel disease. This severe condition leads to inflammation, ulcers and bleeding in the lining of the colon and rectum.

Although the cause of colitis is unknown, it can run in families, so there could be a genetic risk. Jewish ancestry is also a risk factor. Some experts suspect that bacteria or a virus could lead to an overreaction by the immune system that ends up harming the rectum and colon. This condition tends to affect people between 15 and 30 years old, and also people ages 50 to 70.

Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and pain, rectal bleeding, anemia, weight loss, fatigue, weakness, nausea and fever. Treatment options include avoiding certain foods, like dairy products, foods with a lot of seasoning and fiber. Aminosalicylate medication can also help.

There are no current ways to prevent ulcerative colitis.

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EmpowHER Guest

Anonymous, I'm puzzled by your comment -- diet has been extensively researched as a possible cause and as a possible treatment and ruled out. The description of ulcerative colitis on this website is pretty simplistic and misleading. It really isn't correct that it has *never* been investigated, just that those investigations which have been done have not shown a connection. It sounds like you need to find a doctor who can talk to you about this. In the meantime, visit the website of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, which is the principal advocacy/research/support organization for IBD. Some IBD patients do indeed find that their diet affects their symptoms, but some find no connection at all! That's because these diseases are thought to be autoimmune, that is, disorders of the immune system (like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and 90-odd other diagnoses).

Visit this site for useful info on diet (or call their free helpline to talk to somebody in person!)


November 21, 2011 - 2:06pm
EmpowHER Guest

I was just diagnosed with ulcerative colitis this month. I am surprised that there are no clinical trials or studies involving diet as a possible cause and/or treatment. (My doctor just prescribed predensone and set he would see me in 2 months.)

November 21, 2011 - 10:20am
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