According to the data of National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, ulcerative colitis is considered an ongoing, chronic disease that affects the lower digestive or gastrointestinal tract. It causes ulcers in the lining of the rectum and colon.
The disease may happen at any age, but it is likely to begin between the ages of 15 and 30. It develops less often in the organisms of people aged 50 and 70 years old. Ulcerative colitis seems to affect women and men equally. The group of people with a higher risk of developing the disease include Jewish and Caucasians. It tends to be to be inherited from generation to generation. The most common symptoms include pain in the abdomen and bloody diarrhea. Other symptoms of ulcerative colitis can be as follows: anemia, weight loss, loss of appetite, severe tiredness, pain in joints, bleeding from the rectum, sores on the skin. If children have the disease, they may face serious growth problems. The disease can develop in a mild form and in a severe one.
Fifty percent of all people with ulcerative colitis experience only mild symptoms. In this case the disease can be controlled with the help of several types of drugs. Some patients have quite long periods of remission, it is the time when they are free of symptoms and can enjoy a normal life. But as a rule, ulcerative colitis is like all other inflammatory bowel diseases that can seriously affect a person's ability to work, attend educational institutions, travel and take other normal activities of every day life. The disease may cause a lot of complications. They can include the development of arthritis, inflammation of the eye, liver disease, and osteoporosis. Serious complications of the ulcerative colitis can involve massive bleeding, colon rupture, and the further potential development of colon cancer. In some severe and hopeless cases, surgeons have to remove the colon. About 25%-40% of people with ulcerative colitis eventually have their colons removed because of the complications.
Ulcerative colitis research plays an important part in preventing and treating the case with mild and severe types of ulcerative colitis. The research centers and institutions run and support research into many kinds of digestive disorders, and ulcerative colitis is not the exception. Research workers and scientists are trying to investigate how and why the immune system is activated, how the disease damages the colon, and what are the processes that are involved in healing and treating. The understanding of the necessity of treating various digestive disorders is increased nowadays, and this helps to develop new and more specific therapies. Currently, there are numerous clinical trials being held and they have been a real outbreak in the sphere of ulcerative colitis researching. There have been developed minimally invasive surgical treatments for operating ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. And by the radiologists have been produced new instrumental in developing novel imaging techniques for bowel disorders, for example, MR enterography and CT enterography.