2) Ulcerative Colitis: Definition, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (inflammatory bowel disease) closely related to Crohn’s Disease. It is characterized by inflammation and ulceration of the inner lining of the large intestine and rectum. Ulcerative colitis is usually diagnosed by a combination of symptoms, physical examination, and medical tests and is a painful, chronic condition that can be difficult to diagnose and treat.
In ulcerative colitis, your colon becomes inflamed and swollen with mucus and blood. As a result, your stool may look like a bloody, dark-colored paste. Your doctor may do a rectal exam or sigmoidoscopy to check the inside of your colon for signs of inflammation. Blood tests can be used to check the levels of certain antibodies in your body.
Causes of ulcerative colitis
There are two types of ulcerative colitis: sporadic or idiopathic ulcerative colitis, which occurs in approximately 80% of all patients, and familial, inherited, or secondary ulcerative colitis, which occurs in about 20% of all patients. The incidence of ulcerative colitis is higher in the Western world than in Asia, Africa, and South America. For these reasons, genetic factors are known to influence the onset of ulcerative colitis in many cases.
The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and immunological factors. It is generally accepted that the disease process begins with an abnormality in the mucosal immune system. However, in most cases, the initiating factor is unknown.