Causes And Risk Factors
The exact causes of ulcerative colitis are unknown. Researchers observe that:
- Genetics plays some role. Many people with ulcerative colitis have family members with inflammatory bowel disease.
- Ulcerative colitis is diagnosed most often in people ages 15 to 35. However, it can occur at any age, including in older people.
- Ulcerative colitis is more common among whites than people of other races. Jewish people of Eastern European descent have a higher than average risk of developing this disease.
Preventing Weight Loss During An Ulcerative Colitis Flare
While it can be hard to prevent weight loss during a major ulcerative colitis flare, Lederman says protein shakes have helped her.
Theres no one-size-fits-all diet advice to stave off weight loss for people with ulcerative colitis, Dr. Swaminath says. I dont recommend lots of fiber during a flare because it can cause bloating and diarrhea. Getting the flare under control, he says, is the best way to stop weight loss.
Can You Die From Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis usually isnt fatal, according to the Mayo Clinic. But it can cause severe and even life-threatening complications.
This means that ulcerative colitis is considered a serious illness, and you should treat its management and treatment with a similar seriousness.
Getting the right treatments for ulcerative colitis can cause a dramatic reduction in symptoms and possibly lead to lasting remission.
Additional reporting by Jordan M. Davidson
Also Check: Does Ulcerative Colitis Cause Back Pain
Ulcerative Colitis Nursing Care Plans Diagnosis And Interventions
Ulcerative Colitis NCLEX Review and Nursing Care Plans
Ulcerative colitis is a medical condition that involves the inflammation and ulcer formation in the lining of the colon and rectum.
It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that can have progressive symptoms over time and could be both debilitating and life-threatening if left uncontrolled.
There is no cure for ulcerative colitis yet, so the treatment is aimed at the reduction of signs and symptoms of this condition, and the prevention of complications.
Bloating Vs Weight Gain
Bloating occurs when a persons gastrointestinal tract is full of air or other gases .
When bloated, a person may find that their stomach feels full and tight as though they have eaten a big meal. This sensation can be uncomfortable or even painful, and it may cause a persons stomach to appear bigger than usual.
There are several possible causes of weight gain in people with UC.
Don’t Miss: What Is A Gastric Ulcer And What Is Its Cause
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- What type of IBD do I have?
- Whats the best treatment for me?
- What foods or drinks should I avoid?
- What lifestyle changes should I make?
- Am I at risk for other problems?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Most people with inflammatory bowel disease enjoy active lives. Still, symptoms of Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis can be life-disrupting. Some people go into remission after taking medications. Some people need surgery to deal with severe symptom flare-ups. Your healthcare provider can suggest dietary and lifestyle changes to manage IBD.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/03/2021.
Tips For Preparing Nutritious Foods For Uc
Its one thing to know which foods are nutritious for you, but another to safely consume them. As one MyCrohnsAndColitisTeam member put it, The hard part is getting your nutritional requirements in with limited choices. Practicing meal planning and preparation techniques can be helpful to ensure adequate nutrition.
Members often share creative ways theyve found to incorporate nutritious foods into their diet safely. I made some pureed green sauce with greens, anchovies, garlic, and EVOO to add to roasted veggies and soups, said one. I have a Nutri Ninja. It purees my fruits and veggies, so I eat lots of smoothies with almond milk and Activia yogurt added, shared another.
It may also be helpful to purchase meal replacements, such as protein shakes, to keep your weight up. One member had a tip for weight gain: I increase the recipes that use lots of natural fats olive oil, coconut oil, coconut cream, avocado and I might increase my red meat. All of those make me feel super healthy.
You May Like: Is Milk Good For Ulcers
What Causes Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is thought to be an autoimmune condition.
This means the immune system, the body’s defence against infection, goes wrong and attacks healthy tissue.
The most popular theory is that the immune system mistakes harmless bacteria inside the colon for a threat and attacks the tissues of the colon, causing it to become inflamed.
Exactly what causes the immune system to behave in this way is unclear.
Most experts think it’s a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
What Is The Prognosis For People Who Have Inflammatory Bowel Disease
IBD is a lifelong condition, but it shouldnt shorten your life expectancy. With proper treatment, you can prevent flares and have long periods of remission.
Recommended Reading: Can Stress Cause Flare Up Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative Colitis And Weight Loss
Diarrhea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite associated with ulcerative colitis can all contribute to unintentional weight loss, making it challenging to maintain weight. The problem is, they may look thinner, but they are often feeling weak and tired because of losing weight.
In fact, many patients may experience body dysmorphia as a result of the drastic weight loss that sometimes occurs. A 2015 study suggested that many IBD patients experience body dissatisfaction, which can have a negative impact on their quality of life. The risk of body dissatisfaction was highest among females and those who had a more severe case of IBD.
Weight loss in ulcerative colitis may be difficult to prevent and, unfortunately, there isnt a one-size-fits-all solution. You may have to try a few different things medical treatments and natural remedies to help you manage your weight even during a flare-up. Working closely with your doctor and dietician may help ease the stress related to weight loss in ulcerative colitis.
What Are Nonsurgical Inflammatory Bowel Disease Treatments
IBD treatments vary depending on the particular type and symptoms. Medications can help control inflammation so you dont have symptoms . Medications to treat IBD include:
- Aminosalicylates minimize irritation to the intestines.
- Antibiotics treat infections and abscesses.
- Biologics interrupt signals from the immune system that cause inflammation.
- Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, keep the immune system in check and manage flares.
- Immunomodulators calm an overactive immune system.
You may also benefit from these over-the-counter IBD treatments:
- Antidiarrheal medication.
- Vitamins and supplements like probiotics.
Read Also: How To Prevent Skin Ulcers
How Is Weight Loss With Crohn’s Or Uc Treated
Depending on the circumstances, normal foods, tube feeding, or intravenous nutrition may play a role in treating weight loss. Tube feeding is an effective way to start remission in children with IBD.2 It also is beneficial for some adults.
Tube feeding can be done by inserting a thin, hollow tube through your nose into your stomach or small intestine. A nutrient-rich formula flows through the tube. Intravenous nutrition is an option when the digestive tract cannot be used.
No single diet of regular foods has been shown to treat IBD. In general, you should aim for a normal, healthy diet as much as possible.11
You can tailor your diet based on the foods that trigger your symptoms. This varies from person to person, and even from one flare to the next.4 You may need to eat differently during a flare than during remission. During remission, most people with IBD have a good nutritional status.2
Foods To Avoid During Ulcerative Colitis Flares
During a flare, ulcerative colitis symptoms become more severe, and certain foods can worsen them further.
Following these guidelines can keep you away from the most common food triggers during UC flares:
- Avoid high-fiber foods, such as whole grains, dried fruit, and raw vegetables or vegetables with tough skin. Make sure to cook vegetables thoroughly, and avoid vegetables with seeds.
- Avoid cruciferous vegetables that produce gas, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.
- Avoid spicy foods.
- Avoid caffeine in coffee, tea, and other beverages. This can contribute to diarrhea.
- Avoid whole nuts and seeds. Choose smooth nut butters. Almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, and sunflower butter are all great choices.
- Avoid fried foods, fatty foods, and highly processed foods.
- Avoid high-sugar foods, like fruit juice and baked goods. These can contribute to diarrhea.
Some members of MyCrohnsAndColitisTeam learned about their food triggers the hard way. Last time I drank coffee, I felt every centimeter of my intestines. Big no for me, shared one member. Another member communicated her hard-won personal rule very clearly: No sugar, and I mean NO SUGAR AT ALL!
Also Check: How To Stop An Ulcerative Colitis Flare
Improving Body Image With Ulcerative Colitis
For Lederman, wearing clothing that fit helped improve her self-esteem and body image. I still keep all of my old clothes because I know with this disease that my weight can always fluctuate, she says.
The support of family and friends helped her get through some of the darker days, she says. She also leans on people in an online community through the GI Monitor app.
Even though my family is supportive, they can never truly know what Im going through, and the people on this app do, she says. We ask each other for advice, tell each other our frustrations, and make each other laugh. I check the app several times a day. It’s been a saving grace.”
Support and education are essential, says Arun Swaminath, MD, director of the inflammatory bowel disease program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Join a local or online support group and learn as much as you can about the disease, he says.
Appetite Loss From Inflammation On The Brain
Research has shown that inflammatory cytokines, proteins in the immune system that can be overactive in people with IBD, may also cause appetite loss. Gut-brain interactions in the gut-brain axis may be affected by inflammation and cause appetite changes. Although the gut-brain axis is not fully understood, research shows that inflammation in the digestive tract can have an impact on the central nervous system and cause changes in the brain that may affect appetite.
You May Like: What Foods Are Good For Ulcers And Gastritis
Nursing Care Plan For Ulcerative Colitis 2
Nursing Diagnosis: Imbalanced Nutrition: Less than Body Requirements related to altered absorption of nutrients secondary to Ulcerative colitis, as evidenced by diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, weight loss, nausea and vomiting, and loss of appetite
Desired Outcome: The patient will be able to achieve a weight within his/her normal BMI range, demonstrating healthy eating patterns and choices.
What Should I Eat If I Have Ulcerative Colitis
If you have ulcerative colitis, you should eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Talk with your doctor about a healthy eating plan.
Ulcerative colitis symptoms may cause some people to lose their appetite and eat less, and they may not get enough nutrients. In children, a lack of nutrients may play a role in problems with growth and development.
Researchers have not found that specific foods cause ulcerative colitis symptoms, although healthier diets appear to be associated with less risk of developing IBD. Researchers have not found that specific foods worsen ulcerative colitis. Talk with your doctor about any foods that seem to be related to your symptoms. Your doctor may suggest keeping a food diary to help identify foods that seem to make your symptoms worse.
Depending on your symptoms and the medicines you take, your doctor may recommend changes to your diet. Your doctor may also recommend dietary supplements.
Recommended Reading: Symptoms Of Crohn’s Disease And Ulcerative Colitis
Types Of Ulcerative Colitis
There are different types of ulcerative colitis depending on the affected location:
How Common Is Weight Loss In People With Ibd
Weight loss is very common in people with IBD. One study found that as many as 80% of people who are hospitalized for Crohns disease lose weight. Outside the hospital, about 20% to 40% of patients also have weight loss. Weight loss is frequently seen in children with IBD, and weight loss is present at the time of diagnosis in 90% of children with IBD.2
Recommended Reading: How To Repair An Ulcer
How Can I Prevent Inflammatory Bowel Disease
While there isnt anything you can do to prevent IBD, certain dietary and lifestyle changes may control the symptoms. You can:
- Eat smaller meals every two to four hours.
- Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as meditation, movement like tai chi, listening to music or going for a walk.
- Get plenty of sleep and stay physically active.
- Keep a food diary to identify foods that trigger IBD flares. You may find you have a food intolerance, such as lactose intolerance. If so, your body has a harder time digesting certain foods, which causes stomach upset.
- Reduce foods that irritate the intestines, such as those that are fibrous, spicy, greasy or made with milk. During flares, choose soft, bland foods that are less inflammatory.
- Cut back on caffeinated, carbonated and alcoholic beverages. Drink more water to prevent dehydration.
Inflammation Of The Joints Skin Eyes And Liver
Between 10% and 30% of people with ulcerative colitis have symptoms outside the intestine.7 The joints, skin, eyes, and liver are commonly affected.
Inflammation can affect joints in the arms and legs and the spine . People with inflammatory bowel disease often find that their arthritis is worse in morning and improves through the day.3 Somebut not alltypes of colitis-related arthritis get worse during flares. In other cases, the joint pain does not happen at the same time as intestinal inflammation.15
Skin symptoms affect roughly 10% to 20% of people with ulcerative colitis.15 The most common skin symptom is painful red growths under the skin. This condition is called erythema nodosum. The lower legs are most likely to be affected. These growths appear during flares. Treating the flare improves the growths.
Inflammation can affect the eyes, too. The symptoms depend on the part of the eye that is affected. Symptoms may include pain, redness/pinkness, blurry vision, sensitivity to light, and headaches.15
Up to 50% of people with inflammatory bowel disease are affected in the liver and gallbladder.15 Primary sclerosing cholangitis is a liver disease that often overlaps with inflammatory bowel disease, especially ulcerative colitis.16 This condition causes scarring in the bile ducts. There is no cure for primary sclerosing cholangitis. Other liver conditions related to inflammatory bowel disease are fatty liver disease and autoimmune hepatitis.16
You May Like: Stomach Ulcer And Back Pain
Loss Of Appetite And Ibd
Decreased appetite and reduced food intake in people with IBD are often the result of digestive tract symptoms, side effects from medications, and inflammation. A loss of appetite may lead to weight loss, which occurs in as many as 70 percent to 80 percent of people hospitalized with IBD and in 20 percent to 40 percent of people with IBD who are treated on an outpatient basis.
MyCrohnsAndColitisTeam members frequently discuss their experiences with reduced appetite. I have no appetite lately. I even struggled to eat my favorite dessert last night, a member wrote. Another said, Im feeling very exhausted from work and barely have an appetite.
Talk With Others Who Understand
MyCrohnsAndColitisTeam is the social network for people with IBD and their loved ones. More than 142,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis.
Are you living with IBD and experiencing appetite changes? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on MyCrohnsAndColitisTeam.
Dealing With A Loss Of Appetite
Of course, the first step in treating a lack of appetite is to consult your healthcare team. Your gastroenterologist or internist can help you treat the IBD. Treating a flare-up of IBD will help increase appetite by relieving any negative symptoms that are associated with eating, as well as help you to feel better overall.
A dietitian can also help in making sure that you are eating the foods that will provide you with the nutrients you need. There are many factors that go into an eating plan, including age, weight, other diseases and conditions, and activity level. Eating when you’re in a flare-up might feel like a scattershot you might only be eating the foods that you feel you can tolerate. A dietitian can evaluate your diet and help tweak it so that it’s the best it can be, considering any dietary restrictions.
Hospital Anxiety And Depression Scale
CD participants had significantly higher scores on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale compared with HV participants . This was evident for both anxiety and depression subscales.
Both male and female CD participants showed significant difference in HADS when compared with HV participants. Male CD participants scored significantly higher than HV participants in both anxiety and depression subscales. Female participants however were only significantly different in the depression subscale .
Recommended Reading: What Can I Eat When I Have Ulcerative Colitis