Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a medical condition that causes long-lasting inflammation in your large intestine, creating sores or ulcers. It can lead to debilitating abdominal pain and potentially life-threatening complications, similar to Crohn’s disease. Unlike Crohn’s, UC only affects your colon or your rectum, and it eats away only the innermost lining instead of eating all the way through.
Ulcerative colitis causes inflammation and ulcers in the lining of your large intestine, which can make you feel a frequent need to empty your bowels. Both UC and Crohn’s disease are chronic inflammatory bowel diseases. Both develop over a period of time. Your symptoms may gradually worsen if left untreated.
Treating Ulcerative Colitis
Like Crohn’s disease, there is no comprehensive cure for ulcerative colitis. Medicines can help dramatically reduce the symptoms and even deliver a long-term remission. Treatment includes a combination of over-the-counter and prescription-strength drug, such as:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Immune system suppressors
- Pain relievers (not aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen)
The next best treatment is to change your lifestyle choices. Eat healthy food. Exercise. Quit smoking. Surgery is an option if medication and lifestyle changes aren’t enough, and it means removing your entire colon. Finally, if you suffer from UC, you need more frequent screenings for colon cancer.