Ulcerative Colitis: Ulcer of the Colon

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Ulcerative colitis most often begins gradually and can become worse over time.

Cause of Ulcerative Colitis

The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown. Researchers believe the following factors may play a role in causing ulcerative colitis:

  • overactive intestinal immune system
  • genes
  • environment

Signs and Symptoms

The most common signs and symptoms of ulcerative colitis are diarrhea with blood or pus and abdominal discomfort. Other signs and symptoms include

  • an urgent need to have a bowel movement
  • feeling tired
  • nausea or loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • fever
  • anemia—a condition in which the body has fewer red blood cells than normal

The symptoms a person experiences can vary depending on the severity of the inflammation and where it occurs in the intestine.

People who have ulcerative colitis for 8 years or longer also have a greater chance of getting colon cancer. The longer you have had ulcerative colitis, the greater your risk

Everyone is different, (different tolerances, different likes and dislikes, different locations for their disease in the GI tract), nutritional approaches must be customized to fit every individual.

When you are in remission, you can best help yourself by eating a well-balanced diet. There is no need to avoid any particular kind of food or to follow a restrictive diet. However, there are certain foods that people find harder to digest, such as foods containing insoluble fibre, seeds and nuts, and raw fruits and veggies.

During a flare-up, you may want to modify your diet to avoid aggravating an already sensitive gut. There are certain things that you can to do help you through an acute flare up.

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