What Is Ulcerative Colitis Exactly
Ulcerative colitis is one of the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease . The other is Crohns disease. U.C. occurs when the immune system malfunctions, causing inflammation and ulcers to appear on the inner lining of the large intestine, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . Its not comfortable, to put it mildly, and not something that will clear up quickly.
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic illness that does not yet have a medical cure. That doesnt mean nothing can be done though, so dont despair if youre experiencing symptoms. Sidhartha Sinha, M.D., a gastroenterologist, assistant professor at Stanford Medicine, and researcher who specializes in IBD, tells SELF that while there arent medical cures for ulcerative colitis, there are medical treatments. And we have made great advancements in these treatments, he says. The last resort is a surgical option called colectomythe removal of the entire colonwhich can eliminate U.C. entirely.
Can Acid Reflux Cause Nerve Pain
Acid reflux symptoms can be typical or atypical in nature. Tingling limbs and nerve pain are considered rare and atypical acid reflux symptoms.
Dr. Mark Babyatsky, a former department chairman at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, explained that inflammation from acid reflux can reach the lungs and trigger pneumonia.
As a result, the diaphragm can become inflamed, affecting the phrenic nerve, which is a nerve connecting the neck, lung, heart, and diaphragm. In this scenario, a patient can feel referred pain in the limbs, specifically the arms and shoulders.
Alternatively, nerve-related issues may be caused by pre-existing neuropathic conditions, leading to acid reflux. An example of this is gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is a form of diabetic peripheral neuropathy characterized by slow digestion. This leads to bloating, heartburn, and vomiting of undigested food.
If youre experiencing acid reflux symptoms with nerve pain, theres a high chance that your nerve pain is not reflux-related, especially if you are experiencing temporary reflux. Get in touch with a medical professional to find a separate diagnosis concerning your nerve pain.
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When Symptoms Get Severe
In some cases, UC can in some cases cause life-threatening complications including severe bleeding, perforated colon, and severe dehydration. If any of these conditions are present, its a medical emergency and the person should get immediate medical attention. UC can also cause an increased risk of colon cancer and blood clots in the veins and arteries.
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Fatigue From Ulcerative Colitis Can Be Brutal
Exhaustion from ulcerative colitis can be so severe its hard to get through day-to-day life. For Sam, fatigue was one of the first signs that something was wrong. I’m usually a pretty energetic person, she says. I like running every day, things like that. And I just couldn’t do it anymore.
After developing ulcerative colitis, you might have to be more careful than youre used to about how you use your energy. Some days I’m just hit with a truck of fatigue, Skomski says. So I always give myself an out. If I have plans with friends or we’re going out of town, Ill tell the other people, I might not feel good and we might have to reschedule.
Sam has had to have similarly frank conversations about the fact that her energy can take a major dip sometimes. I’ve had to teach everyone around me that it doesn’t mean I’m mad at them, it doesn’t mean I’m not happy, she says. It’s just that I have a very concrete amount of energy that day.
How Does Ulcerative Colitis Affect Your Life
As a relapsing and remitting disease you can expect to have periods where you are well and times when you are unwell from your ulcerative colitis. When your UC symptoms get worse this is known as a flare up and when there is no sign of your UC being active this is called remission.
It isnt yet known exactly what can cause you to have an ulcerative colitis flare up and it may feel like the symptoms come on very suddenly with little warning. Unfortunately due to the unpredictable nature of ulcerative colitis it does mean that you may live with some uncertainty when it comes to your day-to-day life and planning ahead. It can be difficult for other people to understand this so you may want to talk to your family, close friends and workplace about how it can affect you and so that you can come up with some plans for childcare, work etc in case you do become unwell at short notice. You could also consider taking out some specialist travel insurance for people with ulcerative colitis. This will probably be more expensive than standard travel insurance but will give you peace of mind in case you need to cancel holidays and trips due to your UC.
Its important that a treatment is found to get your ulcerative colitis under control and into remission so that you can live a better quality of life, but also to prevent some complications which can arise out of having active UC. You can find out more about some of these complications in this article: How serious is ulcerative colitis?
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What Are The Most Common Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms
Early ulcerative colitis symptoms usually include things that could easily be overlooked. Dont be afraid to talk to a doctor if youre having any worries though, even if your symptoms seem mild. If symptoms are ongoing and start to feel more severe, like persistent pain in your abdomen or unintentional weight loss, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis to watch out for, per the NIDDK:
Okay, so this isnt the most pleasant one to start with, but it is actually the most common ulcerative colitis symptomits also a pretty good tip-off that something isnt quite right and that you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. Remember those ulcers we talked about earlier? Yeah, thats where the blood in your stool comes from, and you might also see mucus in there as well.
This is another pretty common symptom, and contrary to popular belief, those ulcers in the colon are not actually what causes the pain. Instead, its a combination of abdominal cramping and bowel distension that occurs due to the inflammation in the intestines, according to a 2013 study published in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.1
With all thats going on in the digestive tract with ulcerative colitis, nausea can sometimes be an issue. This occurs more often when symptoms are severe, or if the inflammation affects more of the large intestine, according to the NIDDK.
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Step 1. Load VOB files, even if they exceed 1GB
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You can import mass VOB files, as it supports converting files in bulk.
Note: If you are ripping encrypted VOBs from a DVD disc, you should copy VOBs to your Mac and then add the files to the program.
Step 2. Set up the output format MP4
Also, you choose any Apple device and mobile phone. It depends on your demand.
Step 3. Convert multiple VOB files to MP4 on Mac
Pro tip: edit VOB videos
If you desire to make your video more personalized before conversion, you can click next to the video thumbnail to crop video, import subtitles, apply effects, adjust contrast, etc.
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What To Look For In A Meal Kit
While food triggers vary by person, Kennedy recommends looking for meals with soluble sources of fiber, which tend to be easier to digest and cause less inflammation in the digestive tract.
Things like white rice are minimally processed but still a great source of soluble fiber are great to look for, as are fruits and vegetables that either have the skin removed or can be removed during the prep process, she says.
But the general rule of thumb, says Kennedy, is that whatever meal delivery kit you choose, always opt for foods in their purest, most whole forms. The key is to find meals that use minimally processed foods, and preferably whole foods all together.
Heres a peek at the best meal delivery options for people with ulcerative colitis.
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Find Ways To Reduce Your Stress
Stress plays a big role in fatigue. If youre stressed about work, school, family, or otherparts of your life and youre fatigued, you might find your stress level steadily increasing. Stress negatively impacts fatigue and can make you feel more tired. In this case, look to something that can help break your stress cycle. Whether thats saying no to an activity, preplanning work or a project, or maybe taking time to meditate, findwhat works for you to help alleviate any stressors.
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Recognizing It As A Part Of My Illness
When I finally started owning my fatigue, recognizing it as a part of my life, a part of my illness, and not something shameful, I began to feel freer from my own self-judgments.
I also felt less obligated to explain or rationalize my fatigue to others. If I needed to leave work early or cancel an occasional meeting, I tried to not beat myself up and instead listen to my bodys needs.
Our bodies provide us with so much useful information, but too often we just arent listening. Its time we start listening and acting when our body communicates with us.
Dont Ignore Nutritional Deficiencies
Its important to get assessed for nutritional deficiencies and then treat them if they are present, says Dr. Ananthakrishnan. Some of the most common nutritional deficiencies include iron, B12, vitamin D, vitamin K, folic acid, selenium, zinc, vitamin B6, and vitamin B1. There are many nutrient-rich foods that can help alleviate various deficiencies from UC, but flares or other complications may make it difficult to get enough nutrients from food alone. Your medical team may recommend supplementing your diet with vitamins or minerals.
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Fatigue In Children With Ulcerative Colitis
In a 2019 study , researchers looked at how children with ulcerative colitis experienced fatigue.
They found that, like adults, children with the condition can experience high levels of fatigue. They noted the following potential reasons for this:
- disease activity level
According to the Crohns and Colitis Foundation, fatigue is a common issue among people with IBD. It affects 80% of people with active IBD and 50% of people in clinical remission.
Despite the frequency of fatigue in IBD, researchers have indicated that it is often underreported and undertreated. They have noted that doctors often do not treat fatigue because of the subjective nature of the condition.
People with fatigue should talk with a doctor and make sure that they understand how much fatigue affects their life. The more information a person can provide about their symptoms, the more likely the doctor is to understand fatigue as a serious symptom and make recommendations for treatment.
In addition to taking steps to manage and treat ulcerative colitis, a person can make certain lifestyle changes to help reduce fatigue.
Some potential ways for a person to improve fatigue and boost energy levels include:
In one 2020 study , researchers found that the best way to treat fatigue is to treat its underlying causes.
Weight Loss And Loss Of Appetite
About half of individuals with ulcerative colitis experience weight loss.4 Loss of appetite is common, due to fear of eating and the symptoms that follow.4,13 Some people have very limited diets in order to manage their symptoms. Healing from inflammation or surgery can increase nutrient needs at a time when it is difficult to eat. Diarrhea can cause significant loss of fluid and blood.
One weight measurement is not enough for evaluating a persons nutritional status.13 It is important that your health care provider or dietitian tracks changes in your weight over time.
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Healthy Leafy Greens For Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the large intestine and rectum. The most common symptom of ulcerative colitis is bloody diarrhea. Other symptoms may include abdominal pain, cramping, fatigue, and weight loss. There is no cure for ulcerative colitis, but there are treatments that can help to manage the symptoms and reduce the flares. A healthy diet is an important part of the treatment plan. Leafy green vegetables are a good source of nutrients and fiber, and they can help to promote a healthy gut. Some leafy greens that may be helpful for people with ulcerative colitis include kale, spinach, Swiss chard, and collard greens. These greens are high in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber. They can also help to reduce inflammation and promote a healthy gut flora.
Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are all high in short-chain fatty acids. You might also want to try cornflakes, Cheerios, and Rice Krispies. Hot cereals other than oatmeal can be made with grits or cream of wheat.
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Understanding Crohns Disease & Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms
Fatigue is a non-specific symptom of many diseases and conditions. Feeling tired could be the result of not getting enough sleep, or not getting enough quality sleep. In the U.S., we are constantly shortchanging ourselves on sleep, and most children and adults do not get enough. Fatigue, however, is more than being tired and it cant necessarily be overcome by getting some sleep. Fatigue is a symptom often associated with inflammatory bowel disease and tends to be one that is brought up frequently as being most problematic in lowering quality of life.
Chronic fatigue can lead to a host of other problems, including poor performance at work and school, drowsy driving, and feelings of depression. Figuring out that fatigue is a problem is not difficult, but determining what is causing it and what to do about it is no easy task. The reasons people with IBD may feel fatigued include medication side effects, sleep disturbances, related conditions such as anemia, and a flare-up.
Not Everyone Will Understand The Intensity Of Your Disease
Although ulcerative colitis can affect many aspects of your physical health, its often considered an invisible illness. Depending on the severity of symptoms on a given day, people with the condition can often still move around without any obvious signs that theyre in pain or discomfort. It puts a lot of pressure on your shoulders when you are chronically ill and it’s not visible, because you have to explain yourself time and time again, Skomski says. And since people between the ages of 15 and 30 are one of the more at-risk age groups for developing ulcerative colitis, people with the condition are sometimes perceived as too young to be sick.
People may also have a hard time wrapping their head around the pretty major lifestyle adjustments you might have to make with ulcerative colitis. My lifestyle’s not like a typical 20-something, Sam says. I think a lot of my friends see this as the intense period of their life: staying up all night, going to concerts that go until the middle of the night, going to bars, things like that. And I just can’t.
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How Is Crohns Disease Diagnosed
Most people with Crohns first see a healthcare provider because of ongoing diarrhea, belly cramping or unexplained weight loss. If you have a child who has been experiencing the symptoms of Crohns disease, reach out to your pediatrician.
To find the cause of your symptoms, your healthcare provider may order one or more of these tests:
- Blood test: A blood test checks for high numbers of white blood cells that may indicate inflammation or infection. The test also checks for low red blood cell count, or anemia. Approximately one in three people with Crohns disease have anemia.
- Stool test: This test looks at a sample of your stool to check for bacteria or parasites. It can rule out infections that cause chronic diarrhea.
- Colonoscopy: During a colonoscopy, your doctor uses an endoscope to examine the inside of your colon. Your doctor may take a tissue sample from the colon to test for signs of inflammation.
- Computed tomography scan: A CT scan creates images of the digestive tract. It tells your healthcare provider how severe the intestinal inflammation is.
- Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy: Your doctor threads a long, thin tube called an endoscope through your mouth and into your throat. An attached camera allows your doctor to see inside. During an upper endoscopy, your doctor may also take tissue samples.
- Upper gastrointestinal exam: X-ray images used during an upper GI exam allow your doctor to watch as a swallowed barium liquid moves through your digestive tract.