Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitis


Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease causing irritation and ulcers in the lining of the colon. It is an auto-immune disease. The condition has no cure, and patients usually have symptoms from time to time. However, with the right medical guidance, the patient can have a good quality of life.

Signs and symptoms

The main symptom of ulcerative colitis is bloody stools and some occasional pus. The patient may experience sudden urges to defecate, but then not be able to do so despite the urge. Other symptoms include abdominal cramps, loss of appetite, anaemia, pain associated with bowel movements, fatigue, fever and dehydration.

Causes and risk factors

Ulcerative colitis is an auto-immune disease. Its exact cause is unknown, but it occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the colon. Hereditary factors appear to have a role to play.


Ulcerative colitis could cause severe internal bleeding, perforations in the colon, toxic megacolon and an increased risk of colon cancer.


Ulcerative colitis looks similar to other conditions like Crohn’s disease so the doctor will perform tests to rule those out. A panel of blood and stool tests, along with an endoscopy, an abdominal CT and a colonoscopy would be required to diagnose Ulcerative colitis. The doctor may also need a colon biopsy.

Treatment and Surgical Interventions

Mild to moderate patients will require only drug therapy to treat their condition. This usually involves a combination of anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressants, biologics and pain medication. Serious cases will require surgical removal of the colon and the rectum, known as a proctocolectomy.


Ulcerative colitis cannot be prevented.


Endoscopy Guidelines

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