Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disease that chronic inflammation affects the large intestines. The condition causes mild to severe discomfort in the abdominal region. Ulcerative colitis can be broadly classified into two pathological diseases. These are Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Due to the inflammatory nature of ulcerative colitis, it is often misdiagnosed as colon cancer.
Other Types of Ulcerative Colitis
There are three other types of ulcerative colitis. These include:
This inflammatory bowel disease affects the rectum and causes inflammation in the rectal region. The inflammation is usually mild and may affect only the top layers of the rectum lining. The symptoms are often non-specific and include bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and blood in the stool.
2. Left-sided colitis
Left-sided colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects only one side of the colon or large intestine. It is also referred to as pancolitis or extensive colitis. The symptoms are severe and include diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, anemia, and fever.
3. Ischemic colitis
On the other hand, ischemic colitis causes blockage in blood vessels that supply nutrients to colon regions. These regions are often affected by ulcerative colitis (pancolitis). Ischemic colitis can cause fever, abdominal pain, and bloody stool with or without diarrhea.
Causes of Ulcerative Colitis
The cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown, but there are thought to be multiple contributing factors. These include:
1. Genetic Some families have an increased risk of developing ulcerative colitis, and there is some evidence that it runs in families. Studies have found that certain genes increase the risk of developing ulcerative colitis. However, these studies do not explain why the disease develops in some people and not others. The HLA-B27 gene is one such identified gene. However, only a small percentage of people with this gene develop UC. Most people who develop UC do not have this gene. It is also important to note that many people with UC do not have any family members who also have the disease, suggesting genetics may play a minor role in UC development.
2. Environmental Factor There are believed to be environmental factors that may trigger the disease in someone who is genetically predisposed to developing it. The most commonly identified environmental factors are: Infectious agents Some studies have found a correlation between infectious agents and ulcerative colitis. However, no single infectious agent has been found to cause UC. Smoking Smoking is one of the strongest environmental risk factors for ulcerative colitis.
However, only a small percentage (less than five percent) of people with UC smoke. Although smoking does increase the risk of developing the disease, it does not appear to affect the severity or prognosis of those who have developed UC. It also has not been shown that quitting smoking will lessen symptoms or improve long-term outcomes in those with UC.
However, some research suggests that quitting smoking may reduce the risk of colon cancer in people with UC. Ulcerative colitis is primarily a disease of adults and usually develops between ages 20 and 35 years. It affects twice as many men as women. People with a family history of ulcerative colitis are at greater risk for developing this condition. In addition, people with certain conditions such as Down syndrome, who have an increased risk of developing inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, also are more likely to develop these conditions.
IV Therapy as a Treatment Technique in Ulcerative Colitis
IV therapy may be used to treat ulcerative colitis. IV therapy can offer the following benefits:
- It is a safe, non-invasive treatment that does not cause complications
- It is convenient and easy to administer
- In some cases, it can reduce the need for medications and other treatments, such as surgery
The goal of IV therapy in ulcerative colitis is to reduce inflammation in the colon. The components of an IV therapy regimen will vary depending on the needs of each patient. However, the components generally include nutritional supplements such as glutamine, medications such as mesalamine or corticosteroids, and occasionally antibiotics (such as metronidazole). Under sterile conditions, a healthcare professional administers IV therapy in a physician’s office or hospital outpatient clinic. The injection uses pre-mixed solutions or kits containing all necessary ingredients to prepare each infusion’s solution(s).
Will IV Therapy Affect My Colitis?
The good news is that IV therapy does not affect ulcerative colitis. The bad news is that IV therapy, especially when administered for long periods, can be expensive, and insurance may not cover the cost. If you have ulcerative colitis and want to try IV therapy as a treatment option, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits. For more information on IV therapy feel free to contact us at 205-352-9141, our offices are located in Hoover, AL. Our services are accessible to all the residents of Birmingham area and its environs.