Allergic To Myself

A place for the autoimmune afflicted

Exploring: Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitisis the sister disease to Crohn’s Disease. The main difference between the two is that Crohn’s makes ulcers in the small intestine, while colitis attacks and creates ulcers in the large intestines/colon. Less than 1% of the population is effected by Ulcerative Colitis, but like all other autoimmune diseases it can be crippling and even fatal. This paragraph from wikepedia accurately explains some of the symptoms of Colitis. “The clinical presentation of ulcerative colitis depends on the extent of the disease process. Patients usually present with diarrhea mixed with blood and mucus, of gradual onset. They also may have signs of weight loss, and blood on rectal examination. The disease is usually accompanied with different degrees of abdominal pain, from mild discomfort to severely painful cramps.
Ulcerative colitis is associated with a general inflammatory process that affects many parts of the body. Sometimes these associated extra-intestinal symptoms are the initial signs of the disease, such as painful, arthritic knees in a teenager. The presence of the disease cannot be confirmed, however, until the onset of intestinal manifestations.”
I feel like it is very interesting that symptoms and/or autoimmune diseases almost always come in pairs. I have Crohn’s Disease but I also expect that i have Rheumatoid Arthritis because my joints, especially in my hands, ache. Fortunately for me the treatments they use to treat Crohn’s also treat RA.
Ulcerative Colitis comes and goes in stages( has states of remission), where the person will feel fine for a while until something happens that triggers a flare up which could last months or years. Usually drug treatment is required for the person to stay in remission.
Do you know anyone with Ulcerative Colitis? How do they cope with it?

I apologize for the image below, it is a pretty graphic picture of what the colon looks like with Ulcerative Colitis.

November 27, 2010 Posted by | Autoimmune Disease | 7 Comments