SYMPTOMS OF ULCERATIVE COLITIS
Blood in Stools
Mucous in stools.
Joint pains and swelling.
Weakness, lethargy, shortness of breath after a walk
because of anemia.
The correct diagnosis is the 1st step to right treatment. All patients with blood in stools and diarrhea are not necessarily suffering from ulcerative colitis, which has to be differentiated from other diseases.COLONOSCOPY is performed to arrive at the correct diagnosis.
CARE AND GUIDANCE
Ulcerative Colitis follows a prolonged course with periods of activity ( relapse) and inactivity ( remission). A majority of the cases respond to medical treatment and do not require surgery.
Patients diagnosed with ulcerative colitis should be on a regular follow up. If the disease is MORE THAN 10 YEARS old and has involved the whole of the colon then chances of COLONIC CANCER INCREASE. These patients should be REGULARLY SCREENED for the same.
WHAT IS CROGN's DISEASE ?
This is a chronic inflammatory disease which causes stomach pains, diarrhoea, and weight loss.
The disease is characterised by periods of activity and remissions.
It typically affects the lower part of the small intestine (ileum) or the large intestine (colon), but it can affect any part of the digestive system.
The affected areas become red and swollen and ulceration may occur. As the ulcers heal, the formation of scar tissue makes the intestine increasingly narrow, leading to obstruction.
There is no cure for Crohn's disease, but the symptoms can be treated and the periods of remission can be made to last several years.
WHAT CAUSES CROHN's DISEASE ?
The cause of Crohn's disease is unknown, but it tends to be more common in relatives of patients with Crohn's disease.
The disease typically begins between the ages of 20 and 30.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CROHN's DISEASE ?
The symptoms vary and depend on the severity and location of the disease.
Many patients only have mild symptoms for a long time and have often had the disease for several years before it is diagnosed.
Periods of mild fever, sometimes with blood in the stools, and pain in the lower right part of the abdomen.
Loss of appetite.
Unintentional weight loss.
Boils (cavities containing pus) and fistulas (formation of small passages that connect the intestine with other organs or the skin).
HOW CAN CROHN's DISEASE BE PREVENTED ?
Crohn's disease cannot be prevented.
HOW IS CROHN'S DISEASE DIAGNOSED ?
Crohn's disease is suspected in patients who have had diarrhoea, stomach pains and weight loss for more than three to four weeks. Blood samples, stool specimens, endoscopic examinations of the small and large intestines, and X-ray studies can often confirm or disprove the diagnosis of Crohn's disease. It is important that abiopsy be taken from the affected areas, as it can confirm or rule out the diagnosis in many cases.
The above symptoms notwithstanding, most patients lead normal lives.
HOW IS CROHN"S DISEASE TREATED ?
The treatment depends on the severity and extent of the disease, as well as the effect of the disease on the patient.
Medication can in many cases control the inflammation, keep the symptoms down, and reduce the probability of relapse.
Surgical removal of the affected areas is sometimes necessary, but the disease can recur elsewhere.
Severe attacks require treatment in hospital.