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Ulcerative Colitis

Treatment plan for ulcerative colitis

How may ulcerative colitis affect me?

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic (long-term) disease that causes inflammation of the large intestine and rectum. The symptoms come and go in attacks, or flares. Both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are types of inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD.

Unlike Crohn's disease, which can occur anywhere within the digestive tract, inflammation (swelling, redness and ulcers) in ulcerative colitis is limited to the innermost lining of the colon (large intestine) and rectum. Diarrhoea (often bloody) and abdominal pain are among the most common symptoms associated with this disease. Other symptoms, however, may include loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, anaemia (which can make you feel tired, faint or breathless), nausea and fever.

There are also several possible complications from ulcerative colitis, but these vary according to the extent of inflammation in the colon and rectum. In moderate to severe conditions, excessive bleeding may cause anaemia, and sudden, severe dilation of the colon (referred to as toxic megacolon) may result in a perforation. If such complications arise, they may need specific treatment in addition to treating your ulcerative colitis.

Ulcerative colitis may also affect other parts of the body, causing joint pain, inflammation of the eyes and liver disorders. Although some of these problems may improve with the treatment and management of your ulcerative colitis, they may also require additional treatment.



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