Understanding Ulcerative colitis

About Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is one of the two entities that come under the common name of ‘Inflammatory Bowel Disease’, abbreviated as IBD, the other one being Crohn’s Disease. This inflammation leads to formation of tiny pores, known as ulcers, along the inner lining wall of the colon. The disease usually starts off, from the rectum and thereby spreads upwards.

This disease affects the large intestine and ulcers form mainly because the cells present on the lining of the intestinal membrane die. The ulcers can cause internal bleeding and lead to formation of mucus or pus. These can later develop into abscesses within your large intestine. Ulcerative colitis affects teens and the youth between the ages 15 to 30. Older people who lie in the age group 50-70 years can also be affected by this intestinal disorder.

Causes of Ulcerative Coliti

The causes for formation of ulcers within your large intestine is typically unknown, till date. The possible reasons include

  • Heredity

  • Auto immune – Immune system can mistakenly attack healthier cells within your large intestines.>

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

You would experience the following symptoms, just in case you are diagnosed with an ulcerative colitis. These include

  • Intermittent or persisting pain, near the lower quadrant of your abdomen
  • Diarrhea accompanied with blood (People diagnosed with the Ulcerative Colitis may pass bloody stools or diarrhea for 10-20 times in a day)
  • Passage of mucus in stools
  • Loss of appetite and loss of weight
  • Bloating of your abdomen
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Rectal pain

Other symptoms associated with Ulcerative Colitis

  • Skin nodules (erythema nodosum), Skin ulcers (pyoderma gangrenosum) painful eye (iritis, uveitis), joint swelling (arthritis) back ache (ankylosing spondylitis) and liver involvement (primary sclerosing cholangitis) are other symptoms

Acute Severe Colitis

It’s a specific severe form this disease, where the patient has severe abdomen pain, passes more than 10 -15 bloody stools per day, has high grade fever and is dehydrated and very sick. This will require emergency admission to the hospital and intensive care management.

Diagnosing Ulcerative Colitis

A thorough history regarding your illness and physical examination along with few tests will help your doctor suspect Ulcerative Colitis . He would be able to assess the degree of inflammation within your intestines with the help of few lab tests. The tests can detect inflammation, infection, internal bleeding or help him identify the nutritional consequences of the disease in your body. These include

  • Hemoglobin

  • WBC count

  • ESR

  • CRP

  • Iron profile

  • Proteins

  • C ANCA and P ANCA


Colonoscopy is a technique, where a lighter long flexible tube is passed through your anus to visualize the lower part of your digestive tract - the large intestine and terminal portion of the small intestine. Ulcers, narrowing and mucosal inflammation in your bowels can be seen and your physician can take biopsies from suspicious areas.

Stools test

Your doctor might be interested to take a sample of your stools, in order to detect bacteria or parasites.

Treatment options for Ulcerative Colitis

In order to treat, you will first be supplied with drugs or medicines to suppress inflammation and reduce symptoms of nausea or diarrhea.

Treatment options for Ulcerative Colitis

In order to treat Ulcerative Colitis, you will first be supplied with drugs or medicines to suppress inflammation and reduce symptoms of nausea or diarrhea.

MedicationThese includeAmino salicylates

The drugs include Mesa amine, Olsalazine, Balsalazide and Sulfasalazine. All these drugs work at the lining of the gastro-intestinal tract and help reduce inflammation


  • These drugs help you in reducing abdominal cramps and suppress inflammation in your intestines.
  • Antibiotics and corticosteroids are also used to suppress your body’s immune system from further attacking healthier cells or tissues, present within your intestines.

Surgical options

  • In case your doctor detects a severe bleeding, chronic or debilitating symptoms connected with your colon or discovers a potential perforation of your colon, a proper surgery will be the possible solution, to alleviate the disorder. This can also remove the threat of you getting a colon cancer.
  • The two commonly used surgical options are proctocolectomy along with ileostomy and ileoanal anastomosis.
  • The surgery namely the proctocolectomy with ileostomy involves removal of your colon as well as the rectal zone. Your doctor makes a small incision across your abdominal wall and the tip of your small intestine also known as ileum is brought to your skin’s surface. And the waste is drained out, through the opening. A bag is placed at the arena, thereon.
  • In an ileoanal anastomosis, this is exactly what your doctor does. He removes the diseased or the infected portion of your colon (large intestine), while the outer surface of your rectum is allowed to stay intact. The ileum is then attached into the rectum, just to form a small pouch.
  • After the surgery, you will be in a position to pass stools. But your stools or motion tends to be more frequent and watery than before.

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