Ulcerative Colitis- a chronic inflammatory disorder

Ulcerative Colitis

Introduction

Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is a chronic and ongoing disease that affects the colon part of the large intestine. In this disease, the lining of the colon becomes inflamed and develops tiny open sores called ulcers. The combination of ulcer and inflammation can cause a feeling of discomfort and frequent emptying of the colon. It can also become one of the risk factors for colon cancer. UC can also cause inflammation in the joints, eyes, skin, spine, liver and the bile duct.

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

Abdominal discomfort, weight loss, persistent diarrhoea, dehydration (lack of water in the body), tiredness (fatigue) and fever are some of the common symptoms of ulcerative colitis. However, it may also delay the growth and development among the young children.

Cause

The exact cause of the ulcerative colitis is unknown. But, it is believed to be a result of an interaction of the variety of factors.

a. Environmental factor

The Environmental factors may contribute in generating the problem of ulcerative colitis. First of all, the foreign substance or agent may enter the human body through the environment and may become the direct cause of inflammation. Secondly, they may stimulate the defense system of the body to produce indirect inflammation. The inflammation produced during these mechanisms may become the reason for generation of this disease.

b. Genetic factor

Genetic Factor can also contribute in developing such a condition. Some of the inherited genes from the parents may make a person’s body more prone to the condition of UC.

c. Immune factor

The immune system is a network of cells that interact with one another to protect the body against the foreign agents. Basically, inflammation is the response of the immune system. It symbolizes that something wrong is happening with the body. In fact, inflammation occurs when a foreign invader enters the body in order to protect it from further damage. However, researchers strongly believe that people suffering from ulcerative colitis experience an overactive immune response.

d. White Blood Cells

White Blood Cells (WBCs) release a molecule called ‘cytokines’. This molecule acts as a chemical messenger which promotes inflammation. It helps the human body to limit the growth and development of foreign agents. Once the foreign agent destroyed, inflammation goes away.

Diagnosis of ulcerative colitis

There are a variety of tests which are widely available to monitor and diagnose the condition of UC. Some of the major tests are

a) X-ray- This test helps to take the image of the internal body.

b) Colonoscopy- It examines the entire lining of the large intestine especially the colon.

c) White Blood Cell Scan Test- This test help in determining the area in the body where a large number of WBCs are gathered together.

d) Antibody blood test- It is an accurate test in order to differentiate between the ulcerative colitis and any other inflammatory bowel disorder.

e) Computerized Tomography (CT)- It is mainly used to diagnose the complications associated with the chronic diseases.

f) MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) of Pelvis- It is used to obtain the image of the internal body.

CBD for treating Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitis can be treated by surgery and medications. The researchers believe that CBD is an effective treatment for treating this condition. CBD is a cannabis compound which has a large number of therapeutic uses.

For more information on CBD, please read my another article- https://www.ahealz.com/article/2018/07/21/cannabidiol-therapeutic-benefits/

CBD is well-known for its potential to reduce inflammation because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Sometimes, colon starts working abnormally. Instead of welcoming good bacteria and food in the body, colon sees them as a foreign enemy. Therefore, it produces inflammation and causes the problem of ulcerative colitis.

CBD might reduce inflammation and damage caused by ulcerative colitis. It has the anti-inflammatory properties which prove it as a valuable treatment. In fact, CBD binds to the enteric glial cells. These cells are present on the intestine and have the function to form the lining of the intestine. It also protects the lining of the intestine from the inflammation caused by the foreign invaders. In this way, CBD works effectively in treating the condition of Ulcerative colitis.

Other treatment available 

As mentioned above, UC can be treated through surgery and medications. Let us have a look at the alternative treatment options

1. Surgery

It is one of the common treatment for various chronic conditions. This treatment involves removing  a certain part of the colon which is highly affected during this condition. However, it is not that much effective because removing the large part of the colon may not be an easy and successful task. It may generate various complications and can cause a life-threatening condition.

2. Anti-inflammatory Drugs

The drugs which have the potential to reduce the inflammation are known as anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs are effective in reducing the inflammation. Corticosteroids and aminosalicylates are the common anti-inflammatory drugs. This method is safe and does not have a lot of complications.

3. Immune system suppressors

These agents also help in reducing inflammation. They generally work by suppressing the response of immune system. These suppressors inhibit the initiation of the process of inflammation. For example- Cyclosporin acts as an immuno-suppressor.

4. Diet changes

The food we eat seems to play a vital role in secreting ulcer. Certain types of food may cause more symptoms of this disease. The changes in the diet plan may help in treating such chronic disorder. Doctors usually recommend to eat a healthy meal and avoid intake of fast food. In fact, they also recommend some nutritional and vitamin supplements to treat the condition of ulcerative colitis. Therefore, it is very necessary to add nutritions in our daily diet to avoid such condition.

References

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ulcerative-colitis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353331

http://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/resources/diagnosing-crohns-uc.html

https://www.projectcbd.org/gastrointestinal-disorders

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