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Ulcerative Colitis

Updated : February 2, 2024





Background

An inflammatory disorder of the colon known as ulcerative colitis causes superficial erosions and widespread friability on the colonic wall accompanied by bleeding. Typically, it only affects the colon’s submucosa and mucosa, causing localized inflammation.

The disease often begins in the rectum and progresses upward. A quarter of a million doctor visits are attributed to the disease each year in the US, and its direct medical expenses are thought to total more than $4 billion.

Epidemiology

North America and Northern Europe have the most significant prevalence of inflammatory bowel disorders globally. A western-influenced environment and lifestyle are strongly associated with inflammatory bowel disease. 9 to 20 instances of ulcerative colitis occur per 100,000 individuals each year. Adults are more likely to have ulcerative colitis than Crohn’s disease.

However, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are less common compared to the pediatric population. The incidence of ulcerative colitis follows a bimodal distribution between the ages of 15 and 30, and the primary onset peaks. Between the ages of 50 and 70, the incidence reaches a second. Although some research indicates minor precedence for males, most studies reveal no sex preference.

Ulcerative colitis is common in nonsmokers or individuals who have quit smoking. Additionally, smokers with ulcerative colitis frequently experience a milder illness, require fewer hospital stays, and require less medication. Although limited, there is evidence connecting the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to the development or recurrence of ulcerative colitis.

Additionally, removing an infected appendix is associated with inflammatory bowel disease. In contrast to Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis is related to a lower appendectomy incidence before the age of twenty. It has been demonstrated that having an appendectomy lowers the likelihood of developing ulcerative colitis by 69%.

Anatomy

Pathophysiology

Defects in the immunological response, epithelial barrier, leukocyte recruitment, and colonic microbiota play a role in the pathophysiology of ulcerative colitis. Colonic mucin and tight junctions are defective in the epithelial barrier, which causes more luminal antigens to be absorbed. Additionally, there are more mature, activated dendritic cells with many toll-like receptors (TLR), mainly TLR4 and TLR2, in the lamina propria of the mucosa.

Additionally, ulcerative colitis patients appear to have an abnormal T-helper (Th) cell response, particularly Th2, which has cytotoxic effects on epithelial cells. TNF-alpha, IL-13, and natural killer T-cells are additional immune-related components that contribute to the pathophysiology of ulcerative colitis. Inflammatory bowel disease increases IgA, IgG, and IgM levels; however, individuals with ulcerative colitis have disproportionately high IgG1 antibodies.

There are two methods by which leukocyte recruitment is impacted. Leukocytes from the systemic circulation are drawn to the mucosa in ulcerative colitis due to increased production of the chemoattractant CXCL8. The endothelium of mucosal blood vessels also exhibits an elevation of mucosal addressin cellular adhesion molecule-1 (Mad-CAM1), which facilitates leukocyte extravasation and adherence into mucosal tissue.

According to studies, intestinal microflora has a significant role in disease development, severity, and manifestation. The host’s mucosal immunology and intestinal bacteria appear to be in a homeostatic equilibrium, which may contribute to ulcerative colitis. As a result, non-pathogenic bacteria are encountered with an abnormal reaction.

Etiology

Inflammatory bowel disease has an unknown etiology. Since a family history of the disease occurs in 8% to 14% of individuals, it appears that there is a fundamental genetic component. There is a four-fold increased likelihood of acquiring ulcerative colitis in a first-degree relative of a patient.

Additionally, compared to other ethnic groups, Jewish communities have a greater frequency of ulcerative colitis. It has been hypothesized that changes in the gut microbiota’s composition and inadequate mucosal immunity may cause ulcerative colitis, although there is little evidence to back this up.

Autoimmune conditions may significantly influence the etiology of ulcerative colitis. According to some studies, smoking may be protective, but there is no definitive link between the two.

Genetics

Prognostic Factors

Despite being a lifelong condition, ulcerative colitis does not have a higher overall death rate than the general population. However, individuals with shock or surgical complications have a higher death rate. When the muscularis propria is involved, it may damage the nerves and cause dilatation, ischemia, and peristalsis.

The most frequent cause of mortality in ulcerative colitis is toxic megacolon. Colon cancer affects at least 5% of patients, and the risk rises with the severity of the condition. Stricture development is less common than Crohn’s disease.

Clinical History

Ulcerative colitis is a persistent inflammatory gastrointestinal condition that primarily affects the colon and rectum. The clinical history for ulcerative colitis typically comprises details about a patient’s medical background, symptoms, and diagnostic evaluations.

  • Patient information: This includes the patient’s name, age, gender, and contact details.
  • Chief complaints: Record the primary symptoms reported by the patient, noting the duration and severity of each. Common symptoms of ulcerative colitis encompass diarrhea, bloody stools, abdominal discomfort, and weight loss.
  • Medical history: Incorporate any existing medical conditions, past surgeries, and any family history of inflammatory bowel diseases or related ailments.
  • Medications and allergies: Enumerate the current medications being taken and any known allergies. This information is crucial for assessing potential medication interactions.
  • Lifestyle factors: Investigate factors like smoking habits, alcohol consumption, and dietary choices, as they can be pertinent to the management of ulcerative colitis.
  • Social history: Evaluate the patient’s occupation and living situation, considering how stress and environmental factors might influence the disease.
  • Physical examination findings: Take note of any physical indicators that may suggest ulcerative colitis, such as tenderness or abdominal swelling.
  • Diagnostic tests: Mention any laboratory tests or imaging procedures that have been conducted, such as blood tests, stool analyses, colonoscopy, or sigmoidoscopy. These tests are pivotal for both diagnosing and monitoring the disease.
  • Endoscopy and biopsy outcomes: Include particulars from endoscopic assessments, outlining the findings within the colon and rectum. Biopsy results may also be relevant for confirming the diagnosis.
  • Disease progression and treatment history: Chronicle the course of the disease, encompassing previous treatments, their effectiveness, and any encountered side effects.
  • Quality of life evaluation: Inquire about how ulcerative colitis has influenced the patient’s daily life, including work, social activities, and overall well-being.
  • Psychological and emotional factors: Consider addressing the patient’s emotional well-being and any psychological stressors associated with the condition.

Physical Examination

An ulcerative colitis physical examination usually includes a medical expert evaluating your general health as well as searching for particular ulcerative colitis signs and symptoms.

Medical History: In addition to asking about your specific symptoms, your doctor will also inquire about your family’s medical history of gastrointestinal disorders.

Examining the abdomen: The doctor will examine the patient’s abdomen to look for lumps, distension, or soreness.

Rectal Examination: To evaluate the rectum and look for indications of inflammation, bleeding, or anomalies, a digital rectal examination may be performed.

Vital Signs: To evaluate your general health, your blood pressure, pulse rate, and temperature will be taken.

Examination of the Skin and Mucous Membranes: The physician may search for indications of oral ulcers or skin disorders that may be connected to ulcerative colitis.

Laboratory Tests: To aid in the diagnosis and treatment of the illness, blood tests such as a complete blood count (CBC) and indicators of inflammation including erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein may be carried out.

Stool Samples: To look for blood, infections, or other anomalies, stool samples may be taken.

Imaging Studies: To see within the colon and assess the level of inflammation, imaging procedures such as colonoscopies, CT scans, or X-rays may be advised in certain cases.

Age group

Associated comorbidity

Associated activity

Acuity of presentation

Differential Diagnoses

The following differentials should be taken into consideration in individuals who arrive with bloody diarrhea and lower abdominal pain:

  • Parasitic colitis
  • Radiation colitis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Colon cancer
  • Bacterial/viral gastroenteritis
  • Toxic megacolon
  • Crohn disease

Laboratory Studies

Imaging Studies

Procedures

Histologic Findings

Staging

Treatment Paradigm

The treatment paradigm for ulcerative colitis typically involves a combination of medical therapies, lifestyle modifications, and, in some cases, surgical interventions. It’s important to note that I don’t have access to real-time information, and medical guidelines may have evolved since my last knowledge update in January 2022. However, I can provide a general overview of the treatment approaches for ulcerative colitis.

Medications:

  • Amino salicylates: These drugs, such as mesalamine, are often used as first-line therapy to reduce inflammation in the colon.
  • Corticosteroids: In cases of acute flares, corticosteroids like prednisone may be prescribed for their anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Immunomodulators: Drugs like azathioprine and 6-mercaptopurine can be used to suppress the immune system’s response.
  • Biologics: Anti-TNF agents like infliximab and adalimumab are used to target specific inflammatory pathways.
  • JAK Inhibitors: Janus kinase inhibitors like tofacitinib are newer options that can help manage symptoms.

Lifestyle Modifications:

  • Diet: Some people find relief by avoiding trigger foods or following specific diets, such as low-residue or low-FODMAP diets.
  • Stress Management: Stress can exacerbate symptoms, so stress-reduction techniques can be beneficial.
  • Smoking Cessation: Smoking can worsen ulcerative colitis, so quitting is crucial.

Surgical Interventions:

In cases of severe ulcerative colitis that doesn’t respond to medications, surgery may be necessary. This can involve removing the colon and creating an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA), or creating an ostomy.

Supportive Care:

Medication compliance and regular follow-up with a gastroenterologist are essential to manage the condition effectively.
Monitoring for complications, such as colorectal cancer risk.

by Stage

by Modality

Chemotherapy

Radiation Therapy

Surgical Interventions

Hormone Therapy

Immunotherapy

Hyperthermia

Photodynamic Therapy

Stem Cell Transplant

Targeted Therapy

Palliative Care

Lifestyle modifications in treating Ulcerative Colitis

Diet:

Maintain a balanced diet: Prioritise maintaining a balanced diet. Avoid excessive consumption of trigger foods like spicy, greasy, or highly processed items.

Stress management:

Stress reduction techniques: Excessive stress can exacerbate symptoms or cause flare-ups of ulcerative colitis. To prevent stress, use stress-reduction methods, including deep breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and relaxation.

Exercise:

Regular physical activity: Exercise can help improve overall health and reduce stress. Before beginning any fitness program, please speak with your healthcare professional to be sure it is appropriate for your condition.

Medication compliance:

Take prescribed medications: Adhere to your prescribed medication regimen as directed by your healthcare provider. Medications can help manage inflammation and reduce symptoms.

Avoid smoking:

Quit smoking: Smoking can worsen ulcerative colitis symptoms and make the disease more challenging to manage. If you smoke, consider quitting.

Sleep:

Prioritize sleep: In addition to being beneficial for general health, getting adequate sleep can help control ulcerative colitis symptoms. Create a better sleeping environment and stick to a regular sleep routine.

Environment:

Be mindful of your surroundings: Identify and minimize environmental factors that may trigger or worsen your symptoms. For example, if certain cleaning products or chemicals irritate your condition, consider using gentler alternatives.

Support system:

Build a support network: Be in the company of loved ones who can empathise with you and understand your situation.

Consult with a healthcare provider:

Regular check-ups: Make sure to schedule regular follow-up appointments with your gastroenterologist to monitor your condition and adjust your treatment plan as needed.

Effectiveness of TNF Inhibitors in treating Ulcerative Colitis

cyclosporine

cyclosporine has demonstrated its effectiveness in achieving remission in cases of severely active and refractory ulcerative colitis, with a comparable efficacy to that of infliximab.

infliximab

In a comprehensive analysis of 76 randomized controlled trials, along with cohort, cross-sectional, and case-controlled studies conducted between 2000 and 2016, which investigated the pharmacokinetics of infliximab and explored strategies for intensifying infliximab dosages in the management of acute severe ulcerative colitis, researchers observed an elevated rate of infliximab clearance in affected patients. Furthermore, the data from cohort studies indicated that a significant proportion of individuals with acute severe disease experienced clinical betterment when subjected to an intensified infliximab regimen. The results from case-controlled studies suggested that combining this regimen with 1 to 2 additional infusions within the first three weeks of treatment potentially resulted in an up to 80% lessen in the early three-month rate of colectomy.

adalimumab

In September 2012, the FDA authorized adalimumab for the treatment of ulcerative colitis that did not respond to immunosuppressants. Based on two phase three clinical investigations, approval was granted. Patients with moderate-to-severe active ulcerative colitis who were receiving immunosuppressive medication either concurrently or previously were included in both trials. In all studies, clinical remission was attained by week eight, and it was still present by week fifty-two in the long-term maintenance study.

Effectiveness of JAK Inhibitors in treating Ulcerative Colitis

tofacitinib

tofacitinib is a medication used to treat ulcerative colitis in some cases. It is a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor that can help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.

In May 2018, the FDA authorised tofacitinib for the induction and maintenance of moderate to serious active ulcerative colitis in adults.

 

Role of Interleukin inhibitors in treating Ulcerative Colitis

mirikizumab 

mirikizumab works by inhibiting the action of interleukin-23 (IL-23), which is a cytokine that promotes inflammation in the gut. By blocking IL-23, mirikizumab aims to reduce the inflammatory response in the colon, which can help manage the symptoms of ulcerative colitis and potentially induce and maintain remission in some patients.

In this 52-week phase two clinical study, eligible adult individuals with active ulcerative colitis were enrolled. Those participants who demonstrated a positive response to lebrikizumab following a twelve-week induction period were subsequently assigned in a random 1:1 ratio to receive lebrikizumab subcutaneously at a dosage of 200 mg either every four weeks, i.e., n=47, or every twelve weeks, i.e., n=46.

ustekinumab

In October 2019, the FDA approved ustekinumab, a monoclonal antibody that targets IL-12 and IL-23, to treat patients suffering with moderately to highly active ulcerative colitis. This approval was supported by findings from the UNIFI study, which included 961 participants.

The proportion of individuals achieving clinical remission at week eight was notably greater for those administered ustekinumab at 130 mg Intravenously i.e 15.6% or 6 mg/kg i.e 15.5% in contrast to those who were given a placebo i.e 5.3% (P is less than 0.001 for both the comparisons.

Effectiveness of Sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor modulators in treating Ulcerative Colitis

ozanimod

In the year 2021, the FDA granted approval to ozanimod (marketed as Zeposia), a sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator, for the treatment of moderate to severe adult patients with ulcerative colitis. This medication exhibits strong binding to S1P receptors 1&5, effectively inhibiting lymphocyte egress from lymph nodes and thereby decreasing the count of lymphocytes in the peripheral blood.

The specific way in which ozanimod produces its therapeutic benefits in ulcerative colitis remains unclear; however, it could potentially work on the inhibition of lymphocyte migration into the intestinal region.

Role of Integrin blockers in treating ulcerative colitis

vedolizumab

vedolizumab is prescribed for individuals with moderately to severely ulcerative colitis, where they have not achieved a satisfactory outcome with, have ceased responding to, or have experienced intolerance to a tnf inhibitor/immunomodulator. It is also recommended for those who have shown an insufficient response, intolerance, or dependency on corticosteroids.

The authorization was granted following a comprehensive phase three clinical study that assessed vedolizumab’s efficacy for both ulcerative colitis as well as for crohn’s disease concurrently. This investigation encompassed numerous clinical trials with a participants including 2,700 individuals spanning almost 40 nations.

Proctocolectomy for severe cases of Ulcerative Colitis

Proctocolectomy is a surgical procedure in which the entire colon and rectum are removed. It is often performed as a treatment for severe cases of ulcerative colitis that do not respond to other treatments or to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in individuals with this condition.

After a proctocolectomy, a surgeon may create an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA) or ileostomy, depending on the specific case. An IPAA involves creating a reservoir from a portion of the small intestine, which is then connected to the anal canal. This allows for more normal bowel movements. In cases where an ileostomy is created, the small intestine is brought through an opening in the abdomen to allow waste to exit the body into a pouch or bag.

The decision to undergo a proctocolectomy and the specific surgical approach taken will depend on the individual’s condition, preferences, and the recommendations of their healthcare team.

Phases of Management

Diagnosis:

Initial assessment: A comprehensive medical history and physical examination will be conducted by a healthcare professional to assess the patient’s general health and symptoms.

Laboratory tests: Blood tests and stool samples may be taken to help diagnose and assess the severity of the disease. These tests can include blood counts, inflammatory markers, and stool tests to rule out infections.

Imaging: Imaging studies, such as CT scans or colonoscopies, may be performed to visualize the extent of inflammation in the colon and confirm the diagnosis.

Acute Phase Management:

Medication: Patients with moderate to severe symptoms may be prescribed medications to induce remission. Common medications include corticosteroids, amino salicylates, and immunomodulators.

Nutritional support: Some individuals may require nutritional therapy, such as enteral nutrition (liquid diets), to help control symptoms and promote healing.

Pain management: Pain relievers may be prescribed to manage abdominal discomfort and pain.

Hospitalization: Severe cases may require hospitalization to provide more intensive care, intravenous (IV) medications, and monitoring.

Maintenance Phase Management:

Medication: After the acute phase, individuals are often prescribed medications for long-term management. These may include aminosalicylates, immunomodulators, or biologics.

Monitoring: Regular check-ups with a healthcare provider are important to monitor disease activity, medication effectiveness, and potential side effects.

Dietary changes: Dietary adjustments, such as avoiding trigger foods, consuming more fibre, or adhering to a particular diet plan, may be beneficial for certain people.

Lifestyle changes: Reducing stress and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help manage symptoms and maintain remission.

Surgical Management:

Surgery may be considered if medications are ineffective or if complications arise, such as toxic megacolon or perforation. Surgical options include:

Colectomy: colon removal—wholly or partially.

Ostomy: Creating an opening in the abdominal wall for the removal of waste, which may be temporary or permanent.

Ongoing Care and Support:

Patients with ulcerative colitis require ongoing care and support from healthcare providers. It is imperative to schedule routine follow-up sessions to track the advancement of the condition and modify treatment as needed.

Support groups and counseling can provide emotional and psychological support to cope with the challenges of living with a chronic illness.

Medication

 

balsalazide

3 capsules orally three times a day
Giazo (males): 3 capsules orally two times a day 8 weeks



sulfasalazine

Initial: 3-4 g/day orally divided three times a day
Do not exceed more than 4g a day leads to increased risk of toxicity
Maintenance: 2 g/day in divided doses every 8 hours



golimumab 

Week 0: 200 mg SC
Week 2: 100 mg subcutaneous (SC); may be increased to 100 mg subcutaneous (SC)every 4 weeks.



golimumab 

Week 0: 200 mg SC
Week 2: 100 mg subcutaneous (SC); may be increased to 100 mg subcutaneous (SC)every 4 weeks.



adalimumab-aacf 

Initial dose
:


160mg subcutaneously as four injections in 40mg each on day 1 or 80mg subcutaneously two weeks later
Maintenance dose:2 weeks later-40mg subcutaneously every two weeks



mesalamine rectal 

Administer 60 ml rectally every night before sleep for a period of 3 to 6 weeks and retain for a duration of 8 hours



olsalazine 

Take maintenance dose of 1 g orally daily in couple of divided doses Administration.
Consume with meal
Dosing Modifications
Renal impairment
If renal function diminishes while taking medication, stop taking it.



ozanimod 

Days 1-4: 0.23 mg orally daily

Days 5-7: 0.46 mg orally daily

Day 8 and following: 0.92 mg orally daily



boswellia 

Gum resin preparation: take 350 mg orally three times a day



budesonide rectal 

Take 1 dose (2 mg) per rectal twice a day for 2 weeks, followed by 1 dose per rectal once daily in the evening for 4 weeks



etrasimod 

It is indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe active ulcerative colitis (UC) :

2

mg

Tablet

orally 

every day



Dose Adjustments

For patients with renal impairment:
Since the medication is eliminated to a minimal extent through urine, no dose modification is required

For patients with hepatic impairment:
If the liver impairment is mild or moderate (Child-Pugh A and B), there's no need to adjust the dosage
However, if the liver impairment is severe (Child-Pugh C), it is not advisable to use this medication

mirikizumab 

300

mg

Intravenous (IV)

over half-an-hour at weekly intervals of 0,4 and 8


Maintenance dose: 200mg subcutaneous at 12th week followed by every 4 weeks



Dose Adjustments

Renal dose adjustments:
Dose adjustment is not necessary when CrCl is 30-89ml/min in case of mild to moderate condition
Not recommended in severe cases

Hepatic dose adjustments:
Not recommended

mirikizumab 

300

mg

Solution

Intravenous (IV)

every 4 weeks

Maintenance dose: 200mg subcutaneous at 12th week followed by every 4 weeks



Dose Adjustments

Renal dose adjustments
Dose adjustment is not necessary when CrCl is 30-89ml/min. in case of mild to moderate condition
Not recommended in severe cases

amiselimod phosphate (investigational drug) 

0.2 - 0.4

mg

Orally 

Off-label as per clinical study



water avens 

The optimal water aven dosage varies depending on the user's age and health, however the range cannot be determined due to a lack of data



azathioprine 

Take a dose of 2 mg/kg orally daily starting immediately from the next day after administration of the IV loading dose



 

balsalazide

3 capsules orally three times a day 8 weeks



adalimumab-aacf 

<5 years: Safety and efficacy not established
>5 years (20 to <40kgs):
Days 1-15:
Day 1:80 mg subcutaneous
Day 8: 40mg subcutaneous
Day 15: 40mg subcutaneous
Maintenance dose: From week 4
80mg subcutaneous every two weeks
20mg subcutaneously every week



 

Media Gallary

Ulcerative Colitis

Updated : February 2, 2024




An inflammatory disorder of the colon known as ulcerative colitis causes superficial erosions and widespread friability on the colonic wall accompanied by bleeding. Typically, it only affects the colon’s submucosa and mucosa, causing localized inflammation.

The disease often begins in the rectum and progresses upward. A quarter of a million doctor visits are attributed to the disease each year in the US, and its direct medical expenses are thought to total more than $4 billion.

North America and Northern Europe have the most significant prevalence of inflammatory bowel disorders globally. A western-influenced environment and lifestyle are strongly associated with inflammatory bowel disease. 9 to 20 instances of ulcerative colitis occur per 100,000 individuals each year. Adults are more likely to have ulcerative colitis than Crohn’s disease.

However, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are less common compared to the pediatric population. The incidence of ulcerative colitis follows a bimodal distribution between the ages of 15 and 30, and the primary onset peaks. Between the ages of 50 and 70, the incidence reaches a second. Although some research indicates minor precedence for males, most studies reveal no sex preference.

Ulcerative colitis is common in nonsmokers or individuals who have quit smoking. Additionally, smokers with ulcerative colitis frequently experience a milder illness, require fewer hospital stays, and require less medication. Although limited, there is evidence connecting the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to the development or recurrence of ulcerative colitis.

Additionally, removing an infected appendix is associated with inflammatory bowel disease. In contrast to Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis is related to a lower appendectomy incidence before the age of twenty. It has been demonstrated that having an appendectomy lowers the likelihood of developing ulcerative colitis by 69%.

Defects in the immunological response, epithelial barrier, leukocyte recruitment, and colonic microbiota play a role in the pathophysiology of ulcerative colitis. Colonic mucin and tight junctions are defective in the epithelial barrier, which causes more luminal antigens to be absorbed. Additionally, there are more mature, activated dendritic cells with many toll-like receptors (TLR), mainly TLR4 and TLR2, in the lamina propria of the mucosa.

Additionally, ulcerative colitis patients appear to have an abnormal T-helper (Th) cell response, particularly Th2, which has cytotoxic effects on epithelial cells. TNF-alpha, IL-13, and natural killer T-cells are additional immune-related components that contribute to the pathophysiology of ulcerative colitis. Inflammatory bowel disease increases IgA, IgG, and IgM levels; however, individuals with ulcerative colitis have disproportionately high IgG1 antibodies.

There are two methods by which leukocyte recruitment is impacted. Leukocytes from the systemic circulation are drawn to the mucosa in ulcerative colitis due to increased production of the chemoattractant CXCL8. The endothelium of mucosal blood vessels also exhibits an elevation of mucosal addressin cellular adhesion molecule-1 (Mad-CAM1), which facilitates leukocyte extravasation and adherence into mucosal tissue.

According to studies, intestinal microflora has a significant role in disease development, severity, and manifestation. The host’s mucosal immunology and intestinal bacteria appear to be in a homeostatic equilibrium, which may contribute to ulcerative colitis. As a result, non-pathogenic bacteria are encountered with an abnormal reaction.

Inflammatory bowel disease has an unknown etiology. Since a family history of the disease occurs in 8% to 14% of individuals, it appears that there is a fundamental genetic component. There is a four-fold increased likelihood of acquiring ulcerative colitis in a first-degree relative of a patient.

Additionally, compared to other ethnic groups, Jewish communities have a greater frequency of ulcerative colitis. It has been hypothesized that changes in the gut microbiota’s composition and inadequate mucosal immunity may cause ulcerative colitis, although there is little evidence to back this up.

Autoimmune conditions may significantly influence the etiology of ulcerative colitis. According to some studies, smoking may be protective, but there is no definitive link between the two.

Despite being a lifelong condition, ulcerative colitis does not have a higher overall death rate than the general population. However, individuals with shock or surgical complications have a higher death rate. When the muscularis propria is involved, it may damage the nerves and cause dilatation, ischemia, and peristalsis.

The most frequent cause of mortality in ulcerative colitis is toxic megacolon. Colon cancer affects at least 5% of patients, and the risk rises with the severity of the condition. Stricture development is less common than Crohn’s disease.

Ulcerative colitis is a persistent inflammatory gastrointestinal condition that primarily affects the colon and rectum. The clinical history for ulcerative colitis typically comprises details about a patient’s medical background, symptoms, and diagnostic evaluations.

  • Patient information: This includes the patient’s name, age, gender, and contact details.
  • Chief complaints: Record the primary symptoms reported by the patient, noting the duration and severity of each. Common symptoms of ulcerative colitis encompass diarrhea, bloody stools, abdominal discomfort, and weight loss.
  • Medical history: Incorporate any existing medical conditions, past surgeries, and any family history of inflammatory bowel diseases or related ailments.
  • Medications and allergies: Enumerate the current medications being taken and any known allergies. This information is crucial for assessing potential medication interactions.
  • Lifestyle factors: Investigate factors like smoking habits, alcohol consumption, and dietary choices, as they can be pertinent to the management of ulcerative colitis.
  • Social history: Evaluate the patient’s occupation and living situation, considering how stress and environmental factors might influence the disease.
  • Physical examination findings: Take note of any physical indicators that may suggest ulcerative colitis, such as tenderness or abdominal swelling.
  • Diagnostic tests: Mention any laboratory tests or imaging procedures that have been conducted, such as blood tests, stool analyses, colonoscopy, or sigmoidoscopy. These tests are pivotal for both diagnosing and monitoring the disease.
  • Endoscopy and biopsy outcomes: Include particulars from endoscopic assessments, outlining the findings within the colon and rectum. Biopsy results may also be relevant for confirming the diagnosis.
  • Disease progression and treatment history: Chronicle the course of the disease, encompassing previous treatments, their effectiveness, and any encountered side effects.
  • Quality of life evaluation: Inquire about how ulcerative colitis has influenced the patient’s daily life, including work, social activities, and overall well-being.
  • Psychological and emotional factors: Consider addressing the patient’s emotional well-being and any psychological stressors associated with the condition.

An ulcerative colitis physical examination usually includes a medical expert evaluating your general health as well as searching for particular ulcerative colitis signs and symptoms.

Medical History: In addition to asking about your specific symptoms, your doctor will also inquire about your family’s medical history of gastrointestinal disorders.

Examining the abdomen: The doctor will examine the patient’s abdomen to look for lumps, distension, or soreness.

Rectal Examination: To evaluate the rectum and look for indications of inflammation, bleeding, or anomalies, a digital rectal examination may be performed.

Vital Signs: To evaluate your general health, your blood pressure, pulse rate, and temperature will be taken.

Examination of the Skin and Mucous Membranes: The physician may search for indications of oral ulcers or skin disorders that may be connected to ulcerative colitis.

Laboratory Tests: To aid in the diagnosis and treatment of the illness, blood tests such as a complete blood count (CBC) and indicators of inflammation including erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein may be carried out.

Stool Samples: To look for blood, infections, or other anomalies, stool samples may be taken.

Imaging Studies: To see within the colon and assess the level of inflammation, imaging procedures such as colonoscopies, CT scans, or X-rays may be advised in certain cases.

The following differentials should be taken into consideration in individuals who arrive with bloody diarrhea and lower abdominal pain:

  • Parasitic colitis
  • Radiation colitis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Colon cancer
  • Bacterial/viral gastroenteritis
  • Toxic megacolon
  • Crohn disease

The treatment paradigm for ulcerative colitis typically involves a combination of medical therapies, lifestyle modifications, and, in some cases, surgical interventions. It’s important to note that I don’t have access to real-time information, and medical guidelines may have evolved since my last knowledge update in January 2022. However, I can provide a general overview of the treatment approaches for ulcerative colitis.

Medications:

  • Amino salicylates: These drugs, such as mesalamine, are often used as first-line therapy to reduce inflammation in the colon.
  • Corticosteroids: In cases of acute flares, corticosteroids like prednisone may be prescribed for their anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Immunomodulators: Drugs like azathioprine and 6-mercaptopurine can be used to suppress the immune system’s response.
  • Biologics: Anti-TNF agents like infliximab and adalimumab are used to target specific inflammatory pathways.
  • JAK Inhibitors: Janus kinase inhibitors like tofacitinib are newer options that can help manage symptoms.

Lifestyle Modifications:

  • Diet: Some people find relief by avoiding trigger foods or following specific diets, such as low-residue or low-FODMAP diets.
  • Stress Management: Stress can exacerbate symptoms, so stress-reduction techniques can be beneficial.
  • Smoking Cessation: Smoking can worsen ulcerative colitis, so quitting is crucial.

Surgical Interventions:

In cases of severe ulcerative colitis that doesn’t respond to medications, surgery may be necessary. This can involve removing the colon and creating an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA), or creating an ostomy.

Supportive Care:

Medication compliance and regular follow-up with a gastroenterologist are essential to manage the condition effectively.
Monitoring for complications, such as colorectal cancer risk.

Diet:

Maintain a balanced diet: Prioritise maintaining a balanced diet. Avoid excessive consumption of trigger foods like spicy, greasy, or highly processed items.

Stress management:

Stress reduction techniques: Excessive stress can exacerbate symptoms or cause flare-ups of ulcerative colitis. To prevent stress, use stress-reduction methods, including deep breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and relaxation.

Exercise:

Regular physical activity: Exercise can help improve overall health and reduce stress. Before beginning any fitness program, please speak with your healthcare professional to be sure it is appropriate for your condition.

Medication compliance:

Take prescribed medications: Adhere to your prescribed medication regimen as directed by your healthcare provider. Medications can help manage inflammation and reduce symptoms.

Avoid smoking:

Quit smoking: Smoking can worsen ulcerative colitis symptoms and make the disease more challenging to manage. If you smoke, consider quitting.

Sleep:

Prioritize sleep: In addition to being beneficial for general health, getting adequate sleep can help control ulcerative colitis symptoms. Create a better sleeping environment and stick to a regular sleep routine.

Environment:

Be mindful of your surroundings: Identify and minimize environmental factors that may trigger or worsen your symptoms. For example, if certain cleaning products or chemicals irritate your condition, consider using gentler alternatives.

Support system:

Build a support network: Be in the company of loved ones who can empathise with you and understand your situation.

Consult with a healthcare provider:

Regular check-ups: Make sure to schedule regular follow-up appointments with your gastroenterologist to monitor your condition and adjust your treatment plan as needed.

cyclosporine

cyclosporine has demonstrated its effectiveness in achieving remission in cases of severely active and refractory ulcerative colitis, with a comparable efficacy to that of infliximab.

infliximab

In a comprehensive analysis of 76 randomized controlled trials, along with cohort, cross-sectional, and case-controlled studies conducted between 2000 and 2016, which investigated the pharmacokinetics of infliximab and explored strategies for intensifying infliximab dosages in the management of acute severe ulcerative colitis, researchers observed an elevated rate of infliximab clearance in affected patients. Furthermore, the data from cohort studies indicated that a significant proportion of individuals with acute severe disease experienced clinical betterment when subjected to an intensified infliximab regimen. The results from case-controlled studies suggested that combining this regimen with 1 to 2 additional infusions within the first three weeks of treatment potentially resulted in an up to 80% lessen in the early three-month rate of colectomy.

adalimumab

In September 2012, the FDA authorized adalimumab for the treatment of ulcerative colitis that did not respond to immunosuppressants. Based on two phase three clinical investigations, approval was granted. Patients with moderate-to-severe active ulcerative colitis who were receiving immunosuppressive medication either concurrently or previously were included in both trials. In all studies, clinical remission was attained by week eight, and it was still present by week fifty-two in the long-term maintenance study.

tofacitinib

tofacitinib is a medication used to treat ulcerative colitis in some cases. It is a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor that can help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.

In May 2018, the FDA authorised tofacitinib for the induction and maintenance of moderate to serious active ulcerative colitis in adults.