Monday, July 29, 2013

5 Important Facts About Colon Ulcers

There are a number of types of ulcers including peptic and oral ones. But most people are unaware of colon ulcers. The most common form is ulcerative colitis. It is an inflammation of the lining which forms in the upper part of the large intestine. Following are five important facts or info about colon ulcers:

It can be very painful. These symptoms are as a result of mucosal erosions which occur when there is an overproduction of harmful bacteria in the colon. The mucous forms as the body's immune system fights off the invasive bacteria that has killed or overtaken the normal cells in that area.

Common symptoms include fatigue, weight loss, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, joint pain, rectal bleeding, narrow stools, excessive diarrhea or constipation, skin lesions and anemia. These symptoms can often be similar to those of colon cancer; but only 5% of all cases lead to cancer.

The most common treatment is outpatient hospital care. Drugs such as corticosteroids can often be prescribed initially. About 25% to 40% of all patients need surgery to mitigate the symptoms and repair the lining of the affected area.

Occasionally, a patient may require several days or weeks in the hospital if bleeding or diarrhea is severe enough to warrant treatment. Tube feeding is often used to replace body fluids and electrolytes. Doctors may put patients on special diets.

This condition is most common for people between 15 and 30 and less common for those over 50. It is known to occur more often among whites and those of Jewish descent.

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