At The Compounding Lab we are a compounding pharmacy that compound many preparations that support and assist in creating wellness by improving GUT function.
Ulcerative colitis is a long-term condition, where the colon and rectum become inflamed.
The colon is the large intestine (bowel), and the rectum is the end of the bowel where stools are stored. Small ulcers can develop on the colon's lining, and can bleed and produce pus.
Ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune condition where the immune system mistakes harmless bacteria inside the colon for a threat and attacks the tissues of the colon, causing it to become inflamed. Exactly what causes the immune system to behave in this way is unclear. Most experts think it is a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
The condition can develop at any age, but is most often diagnosed between 15 and 25. It is common in white people of European descent and black people. The condition is rarer in people of Asian background. Both men and women seem to be equally affected by ulcerative colitis.
Signs and Symptoms:
The main symptoms of ulcerative colitis are:
- Recurring diarrhoea, which may contain blood, mucus or pus
- Abdominal pain
- Needing to empty your bowels frequently
The severity of the symptoms varies, depending on how much of the rectum and colon is inflamed and how severe the inflammation is. For some people, the condition has a significant impact on their everyday lives.
Some may go for weeks or months with very mild symptoms, or none at all (remission), followed by periods where the symptoms are particularly troublesome (flare-ups or relapses).
Getting a diagnosis
You should see your pharmasist as soon as possible if you have symptoms of ulcerative colitis and you haven't been diagnosed with the condition. They can arrange blood or stool sample tests to help determine what may be causing your symptoms. If necessary, they can refer you to hospital for further tests.
If you have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and think you may be having a severe flare-up, contact your GP or care team for advice. You may need to be admitted to hospital.
Treatment for ulcerative colitis aims to relieve symptoms during a flare-up and prevent symptoms from returning. Mild to moderate flare-ups can usually be treated at home using medication like aminosalicylates (ASAs) and corticosteroids. Severe flare-ups need to be treated in hospital to reduce the risk of serious complications, for example gas becoming trapped inside the colon, which can lead to swelling.
If medications are ineffective at controlling your symptoms, or your quality of life is significantly affected by your condition, surgery to remove your colon may be an option. During surgery, your small intestine will either be diverted out of an opening in your abdomen (known as an ileostomy), or it will be used to create an internal pouch that is connected to your anus (known as an ileo-anal pouch).