Ulcerative Colitis is a Chronic Inflammation of the large intestine (colon). The colon is the part of the digestive system where waste material is stored. The rectum is the end of the colon adjacent to the anus. In patients with ulcerative colitis, ulcers and inflammation of the inner lining of the colon lead to symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding.
Ulcerative colitis is closely related to another condition of inflammation of the intestines called Crohn's disease. Together, they are frequently referred to as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Men and women are affected equally. Ulcerative colitis can affect people of any age, but most people who have it are diagnosed before the age of 30.They most commonly begin during adolescence and early adulthood, but they also can begin during childhood and later in life.
The causes of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are unknown. Common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include rectal bleeding and diarrhea, but there is a wide range of symptoms among patients with this disease. Variability of symptoms reflects differences in the extent of disease (the amount of the colon and rectum that are inflamed) and the intensity of inflammation.
Some people also may have a fever, may not feel hungry, and may lose weight. In severe cases, people may have diarrhea 10 to 20 times a day. Ulcerative colitis can also cause other problems, such as joint pain, eye problems, or liver disease. But these symptoms are more common in people who have Crohn’s disease. In most people, the symptoms come and go. Some people go for months or years without symptoms (remission). Then they will have a flare-up. About 5 to 10 out of 100 people with ulcerative colitis have symptoms all the time.
To diagnose Ulcerative Colitis, After careful history taking and physical examination, patients are subjected to Sigmoidoscopic and Colonoscopic examination. The rectum and colon are seen through a flexible optical / camera tube which is inserted through anus. During this examination a sample of tissue from the lining of the colon is taken to observe under a microscope. This is called a histopathological examination. A barium enema is helpful in determining the nature and the extent of the disease in patients.
There is strong correlation between Ulcerative Colitis and Colorectal cancer. The risk of colon cancer begins to increase after someone has had Ulcerative Colitis for approximately ten years or whose entire colon is affected. The risk increases by ten percent for each decade it is suffered.
Ayurveda is an oldest holistic healthcare system in the world. According to Ayurvedic theory everything within the universe, including ourselves, is composed of five elements called panchamahabhutas - the five basic eternal substances known as Akasha (Space), Vayu (Air), Agni (Fire), Jala (Water) and Pruthvi (Earth). These elements combine together to form three types of bio-energies called as Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Ayurvedic philosophy says that every individual person has a unique constitution that is related to bio-energies within the body.
Saint Sushruta mentioned in Sushruta Samhita that Pitta type people are more prone to Ulcerative Colitis.
Pitta type people are usually of medium height and build with soft, fair skin, light brown or reddish hair; small yellowish teeth; a medium-sized mouth; and penetrating pink and gray or yellowish eyes. Pittas speak clearly, but often sharply. They enjoy light but uninterrupted sleep. Pittas are intelligent, but often aggressive, have a good clear memory, and can be fanatic in their beliefs. Pittas tend to be jealous, aggressive and easily irritated. Pittas tend to be emotionally intense.
All the factors that imbalance ‘Pitta’ bio-energy is also responsible for developing Ulcerative Colitis. These include indulgence in too many arguments, eating while watching TV or walking, watching too many violent movies, excessive heat or exposure of the sun, excessive alcohol and smoking, excessive mental activity, skipping meals, spicy, sour or stale and infected foods etc. In Pitta constitution persons, Pitta gets aggravated very quickly with the above factors and patient develop diarrhea followed by bloody diarrhea.
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