Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease, which is chronic and recurring in the large bowel (colon). When the colon becomes affected by ulcerative colitis, inflammation, ulcers, and sores can form in the lining of the colon. This disease can range in severity and can affect the entire colon (pancolitis), the rectum (ulcerative proctitis), or somewhere between the two areas, which is more common.
What Causes Ulcerative Colitis?
While the certain cause of ulcerative colitis remains to be unknown, there has been some evidence determined by experts who believe there is a link to a defect in the immune system, resulting in the body’s antibodies to impact the colon. There are other speculations that are believed to be an unknown microorganism or germ that is responsible for the disease. In addition, genetics are believed to be a contributing factor. However, the most probable cause may include a combination of the three factors.
Who is Most Susceptible to Ulcerative Colitis?
This disease can occur in both sexes, all races, and all ages; however, the disease seems to begin in younger ages.
Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis occur gradually and may include the following:
- Abdominal pain/cramps
- Bloody stool (sometimes)
- Unexpected weight loss
- Reduced appetite
It is important to keep in mind that the symptoms of ulcerative colitis can come and go, and there are even times when people are asymptomatic for long periods of time. Whatever the case may be, if you have experienced any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is in your best interest to schedule an appointment with an experienced ulcerative colitis specialist in Thousand Oaks. Our team will be able to provide you with the treatment and medication you need.
How is Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosed?
Ulcerative colitis is diagnosed by a gastroenterologist in Thousand Oaks, and is usually suspected based on the symptoms. However, certain blood tests and stool tests are done to rule out any other conditions with similar symptoms. In addition, a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy will be done, as well as small biopsies.