Whats The Difference Between Ulcerative Colitis And Colitis
Colitis refers to inflammation of the inner lining of the colon. Colitis causes symptoms such as abdominal pain and cramping, bloating, and diarrhea.
An inflamed colon can be caused by several conditions. UC is one possible cause. Other possible causes of colitis include:
- Crohns disease
- an allergic reaction
To diagnose the cause of colitis, a doctor will order a series of tests. These tests will help them understand what other symptoms youre experience and rule out conditions based on what youre not experiencing.
Treatment for colitis will depend on the underlying cause and other symptoms you have.
Youre More Bloated Than Usual
If you notice your stomach feeling particularly bloated, it may be more serious than a little bit of gasit could be one of the signs of an ulcer. According to RM Healthy, bloating is often one of the earliest ulcer symptoms, with patients especially complaining of pain in their midsection. Of course, bloating can also be caused simply by eating something your body doesnt agree with or not drinking enough water, but when combined with these other symptoms, its worth checking out.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis symptoms often get worse over time. In the beginning, you may notice:
- Diarrhea or urgent bowel movements.
- Abdominal cramping.
- Liver disease.
- Loss of fluids and nutrients.
Symptoms are similar in pediatric ulcerative colitis and may also include delayed or poor growth. Some ulcerative colitis symptoms in children can mimic other conditions, so it is important to report all symptoms to your pediatrician.
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How Are Rectal Ulcers Diagnosed
Your doctor will examine you and ask about habits that may have caused your symptoms . To check for rectal ulcers, doctors use physical examination, tests and imaging studies. These tests include:
- Anoscopy: Your doctor may use a tool called an anoscope to examine you. An anoscope is a short tube that your doctor inserts into your anus. Your doctor uses a light to see through the tube and check for ulcers or lesions inside your rectum.
- Sigmoidoscopy: Doctors insert a flexible instrument into your rectum during a sigmoidoscopy. The thin device has a camera on the end. With it, your doctor can see inside your rectum and the lower part of the colon.
- Colonoscopy: To look at the entire colon, doctors insert a long scope with a camera. Like a sigmoidoscopy, a colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure . It is a more invasive test than a sigmoidoscopy.
- Rectal ultrasound: During this test, doctors insert a small probe in your rectum. The probe uses sound waves to show images of the inside of the rectum so your doctor can see ulcers and other growths.
- Biopsy: Your doctor may take a biopsy of the tissue surrounding the ulcer and send it to a lab. The lab tests the tissue for other conditions, such as cancer.
Rapid And Unexplainable Weight Loss
Weight loss can be a positive thing, but if its happening without any lifestyle or dietary changes, and at a rather rapid pace, its not healthy and could be another symptom of colon cancer.
Track your weight weekly and note any changes, especially if you havent changed your diet or activity level. Losing weight, in this instance, is not necessarily a good thing!
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What Does Poop Look Like With Diverticulitis
Diverticulitis Symptoms Blood in the stool can be bright red, maroon in color, black and tarry, or not visible to the naked eye. Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool should be evaluated by a healthcare professional. Rectal bleeding also can be a symptom of other diseases or conditions such as: Anemia.
Does Pancreatitis Cause Gas
Gas Is a Very Common Symptom of Pancreatitis But flatulence thats accompanied by swelling in the abdomen, fever, nausea, and vomiting is not. These symptoms can be warning signs of pancreatitis inflammation of the pancreas, which assists in the digestive process. Gas is a very common symptom of pancreatitis.
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What Are The Symptoms And Signs Of Ulcerative Colitis
- Liver and bile duct disease
- Kidney problems
Tell a healthcare professional about any persistent changes in bowel habits. If the patient is already under treatment for inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome, contact a doctor if the patient experiences any prolonged changes in the symptoms or passes blood in the stools.
When Should You Call 911 or Go to the Emergency Department?
Seek medical care if any of these conditions are associated with colitis.
- Blood or mucus in your stool
- Diarrhea that lasts more than three days.
Ischemic Causes Of Colitis
The colon can be thought of as a hollow muscle. It requires a normal blood supply to deliver oxygen and nutrients for the muscle to function normally. When the colon loses its supply of blood and becomes ischemic , it may become inflamed. Ischemia or lack of blood supply causes inflammation of the colon leading to pain, fever, and diarrhea .
- As a person ages, the arteries that supply blood to the colon gradually narrow and can cause ischemic colitis. Risk factors for narrowed arteries are the same as atheroscleroticheart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease . These include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.
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When Does Cramping Usually Happen
UC cramps can be exacerbated by food, so many people notice cramping after eating or before a bowel movement, says Ha. Cramping can also be tied to eating trigger foods, which often include high-fiber fruits and veggies, lactose, nonabsorbable sugars, high-fat or sugary foods, alcohol, and caffeine.
The hormone fluctuations that occur during a womans menstrual cycle may also trigger UC cramping, according to a study published in January 2018 in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
Cramping can occur at all times and throughout the night. Medication and other treatments can help reduce symptoms.
What Causes Crohns Disease
What initiates the autoimmune reaction in Crohns disease is unclear, but genetic and environmental factors play roles. Eventually there is chronic inflammation of the intestines from a misdirected immune system. This leads to tissue injury in the GI tract.
Some likely culprits in instigating Crohns disease are
If the large intestine is involved, patients may report diffuse abdominal pain accompanied by mucus, blood and pus in the stool. Crohns disease of the small intestine usually presents with evidence of malabsorption, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, and anorexia.
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What Inflammatory Bowel Disease Pain Feels Like
Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease can include diarrhea, blood in the stool, weight loss, and abdominal pain. The type and location of abdominal pain is different, not only between the two main forms of IBD but also within the subtypes of these diseases.
Further, pain is even more individual to each person, to the point where people with the same subtype of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis may experience pain in a different way.
In fact, some people with IBD don’t have any abdominal pain at all during IBD flare-ups. In addition, abdominal pain can be related to other issues , such as appendicitis, gallstones, or gastroesophageal reflux disease .
But as abdominal pain is a common symptom of IBD, here is an overview of the types of abdominal pain that are most often experienced by people with IBD.
What Causes Inflammatory Bowel Disease
It is not yet known exactly what causes Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis. These diseases seem to run in families, which means that genetics play a role. Many researchers believe that inflammatory bowel diseases are caused by a problem with the immune system. Normally, the immune system protects your body from infection. In people who have an inflammatory bowel disease, the immune system mistakes food, healthy bacteria, and other substances for an infection. This causes the immune system to attack the cells of the intestine, which leads to inflammation.
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Will Surgery Cure A Peptic Ulcer
Medical therapy works in most people with peptic ulcers. Sometimes, medical therapy does not work, or a person cant take the therapy for some reason. Surgery is an alternative to medical therapy for these people.
Surgical operations often used in peptic ulcers include the following:
- Vagotomy: Cutting the vagus nerve, which transmits messages from the brain to the stomach, can reduce acid secretion. However, this can also interfere with other functions of the stomach. A newer operation cuts only the part of the nerve that affects acid secretion.
- Antrectomy: This is often done in conjunction with a vagotomy. It involves removing the lower part of the stomach . This part of the stomach produces a hormone that increases production of stomach acid. Adjacent parts of the stomach may also be removed.
- Pyloroplasty: This procedure also is sometimes done with vagotomy. It enlarges the opening between the stomach and duodenum to encourage passage of partially digested food. Once the food has passed, acid production normally stops.
- Tying off an artery: If bleeding is a problem, cutting off the blood supply to the ulcer can stop the bleeding.
Whats The Difference Between Ulcerative Colitis And Crohns Disease
UC and Crohns disease are the most common forms of IBD. Both conditions are thought to be the result of an overactive immune system.
They also share many symptoms, including:
However, UC and Crohns disease do have distinct differences. Understanding the key differences between them can help you obtain a proper diagnosis.
These two conditions affect different portions of the GI tract.
Crohns disease may affect any part of the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus. Its most often found in the small intestine. UC only affects the large intestine and rectum.
Response to treatment
Similar medications are prescribed to treat both conditions. Surgery is also a treatment option. Its a last resort for both conditions, but it can be a cure for UC, whereas its only a temporary therapy for Crohns.
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What Does A Uc Cramp Feel Like
People who have UC describe a pronounced sensation of squeezing and releasing in their abdomen, Dr. Ha says, that feels more like pressure than a stabbing pain.
Doctors diagnose UC based on where symptoms are occurring. Many people with the condition experience whats known as left-sided colitis, where the pain and inflammation occur on their left side, from the rectum up to the descending colon.
Cramps can also be accompanied by bloating and gas, which cause a feeling of pressure and knotting in your abdomen.
Who Diagnoses Ulcerative Colitis
If you have symptoms of ulcerative colitis, your regular healthcare provider will probably refer you to a specialist. A gastroenterologist a doctor who specializes in the digestive system should oversee the care for adults. For young patients, a pediatric gastroenterologist who specializes in children should manage the care.
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Is Colon Cancer A Concern
About 5 percent of people with ulcerative colitis develop colon cancer. The risk of cancer increases with the duration and the extent of involvement of the colon. For example, if only the lower colon and rectum are involved, the risk of cancer is no higher than normal. However, if the entire colon is involved, the risk of cancer may be as much as 32 times the normal rate.
Sometimes precancerous changes occur in the cells lining the colon. These changes are called dysplasia. People who have dysplasia are more likely to develop cancer than those who do not. Doctors look for signs of dysplasia when doing a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy and when examining tissue removed during the test.
According to the 2002 updated guidelines for colon cancer screening, people who have had IBD throughout their colon for at least 8 years and those who have had IBD in only the left colon for 12 to 15 years should have a colonoscopy with biopsies every 1 to 2 years to check for dysplasia. Such screening has not been proven to reduce the risk of colon cancer, but it may help identify cancer early should it develop. These guidelines were produced by an independent expert panel and endorsed by numerous organizations, including the American Cancer Society, the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, and the Crohns & Colitis Foundation of America Inc., among others.For More Information
Colitis And The Anatomy Of The Colon
The colon, or large intestine, is a hollow, muscular tube that processes waste products of digestion from the small intestine, removes water, and ultimately eliminates the remnants as feces through the anus. The colon is located within the peritoneum, the sac that contains the intestine, located in the abdominal cavity.
The colon is surrounded by many layers of tissue. The innermost layer of the colon is the mucosa that comes into contact with the waste products of digestion. The mucosa absorbs water and electrolytes back into the blood vessels that are located just below the surface in the submucosa. This is surrounded by a circular layer of muscles and then another outer layer of longitudinal muscles that run along the length of the colon. The muscles work together to rhythmically squeeze liquid waste from the cecum through the entire length of the colon. Water is gradually removed, turning the waste into the formed stool so that it is excreted out of the anus in solid form.
The colon frames the organs within the peritoneum, and its segments are named based on their location.
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Ulcerative Colitis And Colon Cancer
Your risk for colon cancer goes up if you have UC. It depends on how much of your colon is involved and how serious it is. The odds also rise after you’ve had UC for 8-10 years — and they go up over time. Treatment that puts your UC in remission may also make cancer less likely. Colonoscopy screening helps doctors find colon cancer early, when it’s easier to treat.
- Use websites and cellphone apps to find restrooms in airports, train stations, or other large venues ahead of time.
- Carry extra underwear and wet wipes.
- Bring enough medication to last the entire trip, along with copies of your prescriptions.
- Tell your doctor about your plans to see if you need to take other precautions.
The Chest Pain From Gerd Can Feel Just Like The Chest Pain That Occurs During A Heart Attack Or One Thats About To Occur
GERD is a very common condition. Unfortunately, the chest pain that gastroesophageal reflux disease causes can be severe enough to mimic a heart attack, says Dr. Maxwell Chait, MD, gastroenterologist at ColumbiaDoctors Medical Group in Westchester County, NY.
Can an abdominal spasm be the only symptom of GERD?
Dr. Chait responds that the problem could be an esophageal spasm or nutcracker esophagus.
He adds, These are true spasms of the muscle of the esophagus and can cause chest or upper abdominal pain that can be severe and mimic a heart attack.
If youre in the ER and report this symptom, you will have blood drawn to see if an enzyme called troponin has leaked into your blood.
The test for this is extremely sensitive and hence, extremely accurate in determining if youve had a recent heart attack or if youre in the process of having one.
When cardiac muscle is damaged, troponin leaks from the tissue into the bloodstream.
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What Conditions Need Surgery To Treat Rectal Ulcers
Rectal prolapse is a condition where part of the rectum protrudes from the anus. If rectal prolapse is causing your rectal ulcers, you may need a surgical procedure called a rectopexy to repair your rectum. This procedure can be done laparoscopically or robotically.
After making a few small incisions near your belly button, doctors insert a laparoscope into your abdomen. Your doctor uses tiny tools to move your rectum into the proper position.
You Have Heartburn At Most Meals
If you find yourself experiencing frequent heartburn, regardless of what you eat, an ulcer may be responsible. Many patients with ulcers describe feeling very intense chest pain, which often causes them to burp or hiccup more than usual after eating. In many cases, a simple over-the-counter antacid can be taken to temporarily alleviate some of the pain and gassiness, but if it persists day after day, its likely something more than a regular case of heartburn.
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Living With Inflammatory Bowel Disease
If you have inflammatory bowel disease, you are at an increased risk of colon cancer. Talk to your doctor about when to start screening for colon cancer and how often to have screening.
Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis keep coming back and their symptoms can be unpredictable. This can cause patients who have these illnesses to become depressed. If you feel depressed, talk with your family doctor. An antidepressant medicine could help you feel better.
Causes Linked To A Procedure
Several medical procedures can lead to a bowel perforation. These causes may include:
- Enema: Most enemas use a tube that’s inserted into the rectum. If this is done with too much force, or done the wrong way, it can rip or push through the colon lining.
- Bowel preparation for colonoscopy: It’s rare, but the bowel cleansing that you do before a colonoscopy can create a hole. This is more common in people with a history of constipation.
- Sigmoidoscopy: The endoscope is a tool used to perform a flexible sigmoidoscopy. It’s also used safely for other procedures. But perforation remains a risk, even if it is rare.
- Colonoscopy: It’s possible for the tip of the endoscope to push through the inner lining of the colon. This is a rare complication and is not seen in a virtual colonoscopy. A hole created by a colonoscopy is more common when polyps are removed during the procedure.
- Abdominal or pelvic surgery: Surgery, especially for colon cancer, may create the risk of a perforation.
Canadian researchers looked at more than 96,000 colonoscopies to evaluate the complications with them. Bowel perforations occurred at a rate of 6 per 10,000 people. Bleeding after a colonoscopy happened at the rate of 26 per 10,000 cases.
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