In ulcerative colitis, the inflamed and ulcerated mucosa of the large intestine causes pain and diarrhea and can trigger other health problems derived from it.

What is ulcerative colitis

The ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease in which the lining of the large intestine becomes inflamed. The large intestine then develops ulcers (open sores) that produce blood, pus, and mucus, although the small intestine is rarely affected.

The combination of inflammation and ulcers causes abdominal discomfort, frequent bowel movements, and blood in the stool .

Types of ulcerative colitis:

There are several subtypes of ulcerative colitis that are named according to the part of the large intestine affected:

  • Ulcerative proctitis , which affects only the rectum.
  • Proctosigmoiditis , which affects the rectum and the lower segment of the colon or the sigmoid colon.
  • Left-sided colitis, which affects the rectum, sigmoid colon , and colon , descending to where there is a sharp curve in the colon.
  • Total ulcerative colitis, which affects the entire large intestine

Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease, but it is not the same as irritable bowel syndrome , although the disorders share some of the same symptoms, such as abdominal pain and diarrhea , inflammation, or ulcers do not occur with bowel syndrome. irritated.

Who is affected by ulcerative colitis

  • Ulcerative colitis affects about 700,000 Americans , according to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.
  • Caucasians have a higher risk of developing ulcerative colitis than African Americans or Hispanics.
  • The incidence of ulcerative colitis is highest in the western and northern hemispheres and is lowest in Asia.
  • People of Ashkenazi Jewish descent are at especially high risk for it.
  • Ulcerative colitis tends to run in families, affecting men and women equally.

What originates it?

Ulcerative colitis inside

Experts believe that this type of disorder is the result of a combination of environmental factors, a malfunctioning immune system, and a genetic predisposition.

While no specific cause is known, diet and stress can aggravate the condition.
For example, research shows that a high intake of trans fat , the type of fat found in many processed foods, increases the risk of ulcerative colitis .

A high intake of omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of the disease.
Cold-water fish, such as mackerel, tuna, salmon, sardines, and herring, are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Symptoms of ulcerative colitis

The symptoms of ulcerative colitis most often begin either between the ages of 15 and 40 , or between the ages of 50 and 80. Discomfort and diarrhea tend to come and go in cycles of active disease and remission.

In general, the more points you have affected, the more serious the disease and the symptoms could be worse. The disease can progress over time, affecting larger areas of the colon.

The possible complications of ulcerative colitis are:

  • Bleeding and consequent anemia
  • Dehydration
  • Inflammation of the skin, joints, and eyes
  • Perforation or holes in the intestine
  • One of the most serious and life-threatening complications of ulcerative colitis is fulminant or toxic colitis . It occurs when a section of the colon becomes dilated and immobilized, increasing the risk of heavy bleeding, perforation, and peritonitis, an infection of the abdominal lining.

A dilated colon problem is also called severe acute colitis or toxic megacolon . The most common symptoms are pain, bloating , fever, and rapid heartbeat. In many cases, toxic colitis requires surgery to remove all or a portion of the colon and rectum.

Ulcerative colitis is also associated with:

People with ulcerative colitis have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer , unlike the general population, and people with severe ulcerative colitis have the highest risk.
However, studies have shown that adherence to measures to prevent recurrence of active disease can reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Natural treatments

Some well-known home remedies for treating ulcerative colitis include these herbal solutions that can be of great help:

Psyllium seed

Psyllium seed can help improve intestinal motility, relieve symptoms of constipation, and improve waste elimination.

Boswellia herb

Boswellia is a natural herb obtained from the resin part of the tree bark. The main mode of action of boswellia extract in the management of ulcerative colitis is the inhibition of certain chemical reactions that produce inflammation .

Probiotics to treat colitis

Probiotics introduce healthy gut bacteria to restore and maintain a natural microbial flora, this can reduce harmful inflammatory responses in the gut.


Turmeric might help ulcerative colitis patients . Specifically, the curcumin present in turmeric appears to enhance efficacy for the treatment.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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