1. What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which leads to the occurrence of enduring swelling and ulcers in the digestive tract. The innermost wall of the large intestine and rectum are affected in this condition.
2. What are the signs and symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
The primary symptoms of ulcerative colitis are diarrhoea (often with blood or pus), abdominal pain with cramps, rectal pain, rectal bleeding, inability to defecate despite the urgency, weight loss and fatigue.
3. What are the causes of ulcerative colitis?
The possible causes of ulcerative colitis are infection caused by bacteria, such as C. difficile, viruses and parasites, influx of the lymphocytic white blood cells in the colon wall and loss of blood supply in the colon.
4. Are there any risk factors for ulcerative colitis?
Bacterial infection (such as salmonella or shigella) or a viral infection may trigger an abnormal immune response, which prompts the immune system to strike the walls of the digestive tract. An individual under 30 years of age or an individual with a parent, sibling or child with ulcerative colitis are more prone to developing ulcerative colitis.
5. Are there any complications for ulcerative colitis?
Possible complications of ulcerative colitis are severe bleeding (which can be life-threatening), a hole in the colon, severe dehydration, an increased risk of colon cancer and rapidly swelling colon.