If you are seeking an ulcerative colitis cure, you understand what an unpleasant and debilitating disease it is. For those less familiar, ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disease of the bowel. It causes pain, inflammation and the formation of sores in the colon and rectum. Unfortunately colitis is a chronic condition but you still have options if you are seeking an ulcerative colitis cure.
It is believed that ulcerative colitis is caused by an overreaction of the immune system. In response to a virus, bacteria or foreign substance in the intestinal walls, the immune system goes into defense mode and triggers an autoimmune disease. Generally those with a family history of the condition are more prone to develop it. Certain environment factors increase risk as well. People who live in urban areas get the disease more than those who live in rural areas.
Passing blood in bowel movements and consistent diarrhea are the most common symptoms of colitis. Sufferers will generally have many bowel movements a day. Other symptoms include lower abdominal pain, cramps, rectal bleeding, anemia, fever and weight loss. Having colitis also increases a person’s risk of developing colorectal cancer. Going for regular physical examinations will reduce anyone’s risk.
Dietary restrictions are important to avoid a flaring-up of colitis, because many patients find that certain foods trigger their symptoms. During an onset of a colitis flare-up, patients should avoid foods that worsen diarrhea such as bran and fruit. Colitis requires medication, but it will vary depending on individual patient cases.
Here are a few types of medications that can be taken for ulcerative colitis:
Aminosalicylates: These are anti-inflammatory agents that often work to limit colitis symptoms completely. The most common side effects to watch out for are nausea, vomiting, and discoloration of the urine.
Cortocosteroids: These reduce inflammation as well and can be taken as suppositories or enemas. They are often just taken in regular pill form however. They’ve been used for many years as an ulcerative colitis cure. Hydrocortisone and prednisone are examples of corticosteroids. Patients will often experience rapid improvement after starting corticosteroids. Side effects depend on the dosage. Short periods of administration of a drug like prednisone are very well tolerated. Longer term doses produce some common side effects however, including weight gain, acne, increases in body hair, muscle weakness, and an increase in the risk of developing infections. Corticosteroids are not useful for remission maintenance, only immediate symptom treatment. Due to this fact and their somewhat serious potential for damaging side effects, they are taken for as short a period of time as possible.
Immune suppressing medication: These suppress your immune system so that the body stops overreacting and destroying its own tissues. Since the immune system is essentially defending itself from certain trigger foods, these medications relax the immune system’s defense response.
Tumor necrosis factor blockers: These are injections given to people who experience fairly severe symptoms and who find other treatments to be ineffective.
Surgery: Approximately one third of people suffering from colitis will eventually require surgery due to bleeding, or as a preventative measure against colorectal cancer. Surgery is the only available treatment that provides a permanent cure to ulcerative colitis. Removing the colon is generally the course of action taken, but patients who undergo this procedure can still go on to live normal lives. The surgical procedure is continuing to evolve. Recently a new surgical method that leaves the rectal muscles intact has been found to produce more normal bowel movements in patients post-surgery than ever.
Colitis is a difficult disease to suffer from, so make sure that you seek your physician’s counsel at the first warning signs. With a variety of treatment options, it is important to be self-educated and understand why a specific method may have been assigned to you. Knowledge is any patient’s best defense. With the proper medical information you can seek the best ulcerative colitis cure for your individual case.
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