Endless bathroom trips and ulcerative colitis
Anyone who has ever had bouts with being unable to go to the bathroom for days on end knows how painful it can be. What about the exact opposite, the feeling of always having to go only to spend countless hours in the bathroom feeling like you are going to poop yourself into oblivion?
If you or someone you know suffers from symptoms like these it is likely ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel or Chrohn’s Disease. Today, let’s look at just one of these closely associated diseases – ulcerative colitis.
Ulcerative colitis is a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. It causes inflammation of the colon and is estimated to affect almost a million Americans, men and women nationwide. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease form the cornerstone of irritable bowel disease and affect the bowel. Ulcerative colitis pinpoints the colon, whereas Crohn's disease can target either the colon or small intestine.
What is it?
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease that results in inflammation of the colon's innermost layer, called the colon mucosa. Small ulcers develop and these tears, or ulcers, often occur along the entire length of the colon to the rectum, and produce a discharge of blood and mucus. It is widely thought that the disease is marked by an abnormal response of the immune system. When the body senses pathogens in the bowel the immune system attacks the affected area in an effort to rid the body of any foreign proteins, such as viruses or bacteria. The body unknowingly is often attacking benign bacteria in the bowel. This exaggerated response leads to ulcers in the bowel lining and inflammation that plagues many irritable bowel disease sufferers.
Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms
Because of this inflammation, the disease is characterized by abdominal pain, diarrhea, and the presence of bloody stool. However, the severity of these effects differs from person to person. In rare instances, ulcerative colitis can be debilitating. There are several medications and therapies that can lessen the symptoms of the disease and many people experience long periods of remission.
In addition to abdominal pain and diarrhea (with or without the presence of blood), several other official markers of the disease may be present. Many people experience urgency and frequency in having to use the bathroom. In severe cases, ulcerative colitis sufferers may eliminate their bowels upwards of 20 times a day. This loss of nutrients can lead to fatigue, weight loss, and loss of appetite. Additionally, some people experience joint problems, anemia, and skin lesions among other complications.
Causes of Ulcerative Colitis
Doctors and scientists still do not know what causes ulcerative colitis, and there is no one standard viewpoint. Many professionals think it may be inherited, while some think the disease could be a byproduct of the environment. At one point in time the culprit was thought to be nutrition or stress, but both of these theories have been debunked. Although the exact causes are not known, one thing is for certain: the body's immune system is responding incorrectly. Because of this auto-immune response, doctors work with patients on therapies to regulate their immune systems to improve their quality of life.
“It has been known for a long time that oxidative stress is a major pathogenic factor in the inflamed tissue that can pave the way towards DNA damage and carcinogenesis. However, the DNA damage produced due to oxidative stress in the inflamed tissue is not limited to the local site but extends globally, thereby augmenting the risk of global carcinogenesis. Targeting oxidative stress may provide an exciting avenue to combat inflammation-associated local as well as global DNA damage and the subsequent carcinogenesis”.
Although there is no cure currently, significant medical advances have been made in the last twenty years in treating irritable bowel disease. You're not alone in dealing with your medical condition. Most folks with ulcerative colitis lead active and productive lives by learning how to manage their disease and its leading cause – oxidative stress.
Share this with other women and men in your life that could benefit from learning how to prevent ulcerative colitis, it's underlying cause oxidative stress and enjoy a longer, healthier life, too.
Carla Gardiner is known as "THE Fiery Grandma" because she found new energy, endurance and youth. Her passion and purpose lies with baby boomer trends, the people she works with daily; aging men, women, moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas who want to feel better, have more energy and have fun like they did when they were twenty-something. Join her for more energy, fun and profits.