Ulcerative colitis is a very common type of inflammatory bowel disease, which leads to long-term inflammation and ulcers in the digestive tract. Generally, the disease affects the inmost lining of the colon and rectum, and in most of the cases, the symptoms develop very slowly. The signs and symptoms of ulcerative colitis can also vary from person to person. Yet again, most patients would experience problems such as rectal pain, cramps, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, frequent urges to defecate, difficulty in defecating, fatigue, weight loss, and fever. Apart from these, the patient would also have diarrhea, which is often combined with blood or pus.

As the disease can lead to many life-threatening complications, it is important to see a family doctor at the nearest low income medical clinic as soon as you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Note that there is no cure for the disease found yet, but with proper treatment, the severity of the symptoms as well as the long-term effects of the condition can be alleviated. Below are the common types of ulcerative colitis, which can lead to serious health complications if not treated in time.

Types of Ulcerative Colitis

  • Ulcerative Proctitis: This is the mildest type of ulcerative colitis. In this condition, the pain and inflammation are limited to the area that is nearest to the rectum. Usually, rectal bleeding is the only symptom of ulcerative proctitis.
  • Proctosigmoiditis: In this type, the patient experiences pain and inflammation near the rectum and sigmoid colon. Bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, and tenesmus (inability to defecate despite the urge) are the common symptoms experienced in this condition.
  • Left-Sided Colitis: In this condition, the inflammation and pain experienced by the patient can move from the rectum through to the sigmoid as well as the descending colon. The signs and symptoms of this type of ulcerative colitis are usually the same as those seen in proctosigmoiditis. However, the cramps would be felt on the left side here.
  • Pancolitis: This is a severe form of ulcerative colitis, where the patient would experience pain and inflammation in the entire colon area. Diarrhea with blood or pus, abdominal cramps, fatigue, and weight loss are the most common symptoms of this condition.
  • Acute Severe Ulcerative Colitis: This is a rare type of ulcerative colitis, which affects the whole colon region. In this condition, the patient would experience symptoms like profuse diarrhea, rectal bleeding, frequent episodes of fever, and an inability to eat.
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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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