Get answers to your Ulcerative Colitis questions.
Inflammatory bowel disease - ulcerative colitis; Colitis - ulcerative
Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are inflammatory bowel diseases. All inflammatory bowel diseases cause chronic inflammation in the digestive system. Ulcerative colitis occurs only in the inner lining of the large intestine, whereas Crohn's disease extends into deeper areas of the intestinal wall and can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract (digestive system).
Causes and Risk Factors
The exact causes of ulcerative colitis are unknown.
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis depend in part on how widespread the disease is and the severity of the inflammation. Common ulcerative symptoms include:
About half of patients with ulcerative have mild symptoms while another half go on to develop more severe forms of the disease. Some patients go into remission after a single attack, while others develop a chronic condition.
There is no cure for ulcerative colitis, (aside from surgical removal of the colon), but medications and dietary measures can help suppress the inflammatory response and control symptoms. Drugs used to treat ulcerative colitis include aminosalicylates (5-ASAs), corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and biologic drugs. Some patients with ulcerative colitis are not helped by drugs and require surgical treatment.
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