What is Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Crohn’s disease is also a form of IBD. Both conditions affect the intestine. Crohn’s affects the small intestine and sometimes both small and large intestine. Ulcerative Colitis affects only the rectum and large intestine/colon and presents with ulcers/open sores that sometime bleed. The main symptom of UC is usually diarrhea sometimes mixed with blood. Ulcerative colitis is a systemic disease, meaning it can affect other parts of the body also.
This is a picture taken during a colonoscopy of the sigmoid colon part of the colon afflicted with ulcerative colitis.
Doctors, GI’s (gastroenterologists) and scientists do not know exactly what causes Ulcerative Colitis. This makes it very hard for people with Ulcerative Colitis.
It is very important to find a support group. There should be UC support groups in your city. Ask your GI. There are also forums online. Check out the list of more resources at the bottom of this website.
UC takes a terrible toll on a person not only physically but psychologically. Reach out to people who understand. It also takes a toll on family and friends. Many people will not understand what you are going through. Remember, you did not do anything wrong. You are not psychologically causing UC nor are you “unconsciously not wanting to get well”. Don’t believe anyone who says these things to you.
UC is curable depending on the cause. Though some doctors will say it is not curable there are many people with Ulcerative Colitis who have been cured or have gone into permanent remission (no symptoms). Be aware that your GI (Gastroenterologist doctor) may tell you the only cure is to eventually remove your colon. This should be an absolute last resort an only if nothing works for you.
It is generally believed in the medical community that there is a genetic link. But be aware also that scientists can set off Ulcerative Colitis in mice (whose colon is almost exactly like a human’s) by using a variety of irritants such as DSS (a detergent), or other toxic substances. See Studies
I have found, after thousands of hours of reading, that Ulcerative Colitis is a set of similar symptoms, not a single “disease”. It can be triggered by many different things. That trigger sets off a cascade of devastating symptoms in the colon. Click here: Causes of Ulcerative Colitis to see what may have triggered your Ulcerative Colitis symptoms.
Since Ulcerative Colitis can be set off by different triggers, you need to find out what has set off your symptoms as soon as you can so the least amount of damage will be done.
It is important that you understand what is going on in your colon so you can treat it and find your cure. Is it also important to understand your colon and how it works.
I have formed my own conclusions, from the thousands of hours of talking to people with Ulcerative Colitis, reading studies, studying the colon, and following past and current medical research.
Whatever the trigger was that set off your Ulcerative Colitis, the resulting symptoms are very similar to someone else whose trigger was different then yours. That is because a lot of the things happening inside your colon are similar to what is happening in the colon of the other person.
After you find out what your trigger was/is, you can treat the cause and do what you need to do to help heal your colon. You will go into “remission” or even be cured.
Your colon could possibly be damaged and/or weakened depending on the length of time you have had the symptoms. Don’t worry, from the studying I have done, I have found out the body is an amazing creation. It has the ability to self heal. The colon in particular can heal. There are things you can do to help your body heal your colon even while you have symptoms. Taking probiotics is one of the most important.
Once you find what works for you to keep you in remission, you may very well stay in remission for rest of your life. There are many people in the world who have been “cured” from ulcerative colitis.
Below is a very good video on what is ulcerative colitis.