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Health Condition

Ulcerative Colitis

About This Condition

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the colon, which is relatively common but remains poorly understood.

Diagnosis must be made by a healthcare practitioner—typically a gastroenterologist. Irritable bowel syndrome, a completely unrelated and less serious condition, was sometimes called mucous colitis in the past. As a result, the general term “colitis“ is still sometimes used inappropriately to refer to irritable bowel syndrome. It is critical that people who are diagnosed with “colitis” find out whether they have irritable bowel syndrome or UC.

Symptoms

UC is characterized by frequent abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. Other symptoms may include fatigue, weight loss, decreased appetite, and nausea.

Other Therapies

Other treatment of UC includes avoiding raw fruits and vegetables. Sometimes a milk-free diet is suggested. Toxic colitis, a grave medical emergency complication of UC, is treated intensively in emergency departments with antibiotics, such as tobramycin (Nebcin), amikacin (Amikin), and gentamicin (Garamycin), intravenous fluid replacement, and either corticosteroids or adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Emergency surgical removal of the colon is sometimes necessary in the most severe cases. Elective surgery may be recommended for milder cases.

References

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.