People experience twinges of pain in their abdomens frequently, and the causes can range from such benign conditions as gas, to the life threatening condition of cancer. For the most part when people have a pain in the abdomen they simply ignore it and wait for it to go away.
The problem with this is that pain in the abdomen is your body trying to warn you that something is not right. Some things that cause this pain are life altering, like the condition known as colitis.
Colitis is frequently called ulcerative colitis, and it is an inflammation in the lining of your colon or your digestive tract. This inflammatory bowel disease can cause pain in the abdomen, and people frequently have diarrhea. Colitis can cause ulcerated lesions to form on the large intestines lining. These ulcerated lesions can bleed, or produce a pus, or mucous, and the infected person may experience bleeding from the rectum.
Crohn’s disease can be mistaken for colitis due to the common symptoms. The biggest difference is that with Crohn’s the effects are often also seen in the patients mouth, esophagus, and duodenum. With ulcerative colitis the effects are in the colon only.
Both men and women suffer from bouts of colitis at times, and it seems that the occurrences may be genetically linked. There is no known cure for the condition, and it is most frequently seen in people who are under thirty years of age. This is not to say that older people cannot have colitis, it merely says it is most commonly seen in younger people.
What can you do about Colitis?
There are medical treatments that the doctor can give you to help you control your colitis. These include anti-inflammatory medications, anti-diarrheal medications, iron supplements, and mild pain relievers. For severe cases there is a surgical alternative, but since this involves the removal of your colon and rectum, this is seen as a treatment of last resort.
The more frequent treatments you can do at home are:
- Pay attention to your diet to see if some of the foods you ingest seem to aggravate the condition. While food is not the cause some things like caffeine, spicy foods, citrus foods, and gas causing foods like broccoli are often aggravating the condition.
- Eat six small meals rather than three large meals
- Drink plenty of fluids and avoid dehydration
- Treat symptoms such as diarrhea quickly, and when you have diarrhea reduce your intake of fiber rich foods until the condition is gone
- Take a multivitamin to help your body get all the necessary vitamins
- And keep your stress levels as low as you can. Stress can cause the condition to flare up so you want to avoid all stressful situations that you can.
Remember that generally people with colitis suffer diarrhea, pain in their lower abdomen, bloody stools, and weight loss. There is a form of colitis known as fulminant colitis that causes severe pain, dehydration and shock, so if you suspect colitis see your doctor.