Ulcerative Colitis is a chronic inflammatory ulcerative disease of the colon and rectum. It affects the innermost layers of the large intestine producing bleeding and often pus and mucus from the sites of inflammation. It mostly affects younger people in their 20s it can develop later in life. It presents with abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea.

Causes:

No one knows what causes ulcerative colitis. The most likely theory is that it is caused by several factors ranging from genetics, faulty immune system reactions, and environmental triggers. Bacteria or a virus may then trigger their immune system, which causes inflammation.

Risk factors for ulcerative colitis include:

  • Family history
  • Jewish heritage, especially Ashkenazi
  • Psoriasis is associated with Crohn’s and UC
  • A poor diet high in sugar, fats from dairy and red meat

Signs and Symptoms:

The symptoms include bloody diarrhea, some abdominal cramping and an urge to have a bowel movement. Stools can be watery with blood and pus. If ongoing and chronic some other symptoms include arthritis, anemia, anorexia and weight loss.

Diagnosis: sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy abdominal x-ray and stool culture should be performed.