Ulcerative colitis or inflammation of the colon together with Crohn’s disease belongs to non-specific inflammatory bowel diseases. Ulcerative colitis affects women more often, primarily in adolescence or early adulthood and also between their 50s and 80s. However, it is believed that inflammation of the colon affects three times more people than those treated.
Colitis is called ulcerative colitis, but the ulcers are present in the bowel only in some cases. A more appropriate term is idiopathic proctocolitis which suggests the onset of disease in the rectum. Idiopathic means that the cause of inflammation is unknown.
Risk factors of ulcerative colitis
Although there is no evidence of factors causing ulcerative colitis, some potential causes are poor diet, smoking and genetic predispositions. Also a dietary error may be a risk factor of ulcerative colitis. Moreover, psychological stress, weak immune system and antibiotic treatments also take part in the onset of ulcerative colitis.
Signs and symptoms of ulcerative colitis
Some mild signs such as diarrhoea or blood in a stool appear at an early stage of ulcerative colitis. Later on they tend to worsen. More than half of people affected do not recognise the symptoms. The higher the age, the worse is the cause of the disease. In some patients the condition can be so severe that even at an early stage it becomes necessary to remove a large part of the colon. Other signs and symptoms may include rectal bleeding, abdominal cramps, nausea or a loss of appetite and subsequent weight loss.
Preventing ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis belongs to non-specific inflammations of unknown cause. Due to unknown causes of the disease it is difficult to establish preventative measures. Partly helpful for bowel inflammation may be healthy lifestyle or healthy diet with high fibre food. It is widely known that psychological stress has a great impact on health. Its reduction and attaining psychological well-being can thus help to avoid inflamed colon. Strong immune system is the most important defence mechanism in the body; therefore its regular boost is an ideal prevention of ulcerative colitis and other diseases.
Treatment of ulcerative colitis
Treatment is not easy to establish due to unknown causes. Treatment of ulcerative colitis is thus focused on the inflammatory nature of the disease. If it is unnecessary to proceed from diagnosis directly to surgery, some strict dietary and other procedures should be followed. A special diet for colitis is easy to digest and it reduces flatulence. The food recommended includes high fibre food and is easy to digest. These are bananas, oats or heat-treated fruit and vegetables. Food should be cooked and processed until soft, so either pressed or mixed. Milk and dairy are discouraged in inflammation due to the lactose intolerance of those affected. Intolerance to milk sugar in ulcerative colitis occurs frequently. Treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases should be supported by adequate fluid intake, except for black coffee, strong tea or fruit juices that irritate the gut. A boosted immune system is then very beneficial, especially as prevention of inflammation, but also throughout the treatment.
Impact of the immune system on ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disease which occurs often as a consequence of the weak immune system. If immunity is strong enough, the body can better defend from external conditions and risk factors. Nowadays, it is very hard to avoid risks, and thus prevention is optimal, it should be a regular part of a healthy lifestyle. The most effective prevention is in a natural form; therefore it is advisable to choose a natural food supplement to boost the immune system which enables better absorption of nutrients needed and elimination of unwanted substances. The function of the digestive system stems from the diet, but unfortunately its quality declines due to modern times. This is the main reason why the body’s immunity is limited and it needs help.