Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disorder of the colonic mucosa. The disease is characterised by a chronic relapsing and remitting course. The dominant symptom in ulcerative colitis is diarrhoea, which is usually, but not always, associated with blood and/or mucus in the stool. The endoscopic appearance of ulcerative colitis is shown in Plate 4.

Onset of ulcerative colitis is usually gradual, but it can be abrupt and there may be a previous history of episodic diarrhoea. Loose bowel movements are a consequence of the inflamed rectum, and bowel frequency is related to the severity of the disease. Plate 5 shows an endoscopic view of ulcerative colitis in the rectum.

Abdominal pain is not a prominent symptom for most patients with ulcerative colitis, but mild colicky pain or lower abdominal discomfort relieved by defaecation may be present in some patients. In severe disease, patients can present with fever, weight loss, malaise and lethargy. Weight loss is largely due to diminished food intake secondary to anorexia. Systemic features of anaemia, such as shortness of breath and ankle swelling, may also be present. Extra-intestinal manifestations of ulcerative colitis affect 10-20% of patients; these include primary sclerosing cholangitis, erythema nodosum, pyoderma gangrenosum, iritis and arthritis (Jewell 2000a).

Ulcerative colitis commonly follows a chronic intermittent course, marked by long periods of quiescence interspersed with acute attacks lasting for weeks or months. The reason for these relapses is usually unknown but several causative factors have been postulated, including seasonality, drug ingestion and emotional stress.

Diagnosis is based upon a history of chronic bowel disorder with sigmoido-scopic appearances of granularity, friability and bleeding confirmed by histological examination of rectal biopsies. The extent of the disease is defined by colonoscopy or air contrast barium enema.

How To Deal With Rosacea and Eczema

How To Deal With Rosacea and Eczema

Rosacea and Eczema are two skin conditions that are fairly commonly found throughout the world. Each of them is characterized by different features, and can be both discomfiting as well as result in undesirable appearance features. In a nutshell, theyre problems that many would want to deal with.

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