The suitable therapy and medication for ulcerative colitis and varying examination recourses
The diagnosis of ulcerative colitis is based on a similar procedure and is most likely to produce the correct result. Following the diagnosis, the doctor will begin with the physical examination and suggest the most suitable therapy and medication for ulcerative colitis.
Scanning the entire lower abdomen: Important symptoms here are tenderness and pain on the left lower abdomen.
After-inspection: Vital symptoms are reddening and inflammation of the rectum.
The following blood values are not necessarily increased, but make the diagnosis easier in the event of an abnormality:
CRP: Universal inflammation marker in the body. With autoimmune diseases, chronic infections and inflammation permanently increased.
Blood sedimentation rate (ESR): This definitely increases in ulcerative colitis.
GGT (Gamma-Glutamyl-Transferase): Surging with damage to the liver.
Alkaline phosphatase (AP): Heightened in chronic inflammation and metabolic acidosis (over-acidification).
Iron and ferritin: Particularly low during an active push.
Hemoglobin: decreased during an active relapse (anemia).
Transaminase: Increased in liver damage due to the disease.
Kidney health: GFR (kidney performance) decreased.
Cholestasis or jaundice may be detectable (increased bilirubin).
This method is unsightly. However, it is important for the doctor to clarify a possible diagnosis. In addition, the stool sample excludes other causes of the symptoms, such as infectious colitis.
The stool sample can contain some significant markers, which otherwise may go undetected:
Lactoferrin: Protein that only exists in immune cells. If your doctor can detect it in the stool, there is most likely a chronic bowel disease (also evident in celiac disease, leaky gut syndrome, Crohn’s disease).
Calprotectin: Similar to lactoferrin in immune cells, calprotectin speaks for an immune reaction and damage in the intestine.
Blood in the stool and pus detectable.
Neopterin is noticable in the fecal matter.
Colonoscopy and ultrasound
Colonoscopy and ultrasound are the main methods of making a diagnosis. Only experienced doctors use ultrasound to assess the extent of inflammation in the intestine.
Before a colonoscopy, you will be asked to completely empty your intestines using laxatives. Then, experts insert a probe rectally with an attached camera.
With the camera, the doctor can check the structure and inflammation of the large intestine and take tissue samples. The tissue samples make it easier to distinguish it from Crohn’s disease.
From eight years after the diagnosis of total colitis (pancolitis) and from 15 years after the diagnosis of left-sided colitis, it is advisable to have an annual colonoscopy. Ulcerative colitis patients have an increased risk of colon cancer.
An ulcerative colitis diagnosis can be ascertained with the help of the methods mentioned. After the diagnosis, those affected often end a long odyssey to various doctors to find the cause of the symptoms.
Ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune disease of the intestine. The quality of life of those affected is only limited to a certain extent thanks to modern science, medication and other findings.
Combined therapies bring more and more patients into permanent remission.
Is ulcerative colitis curable?
After diagnosis, doctors report that ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune disease that lasts a lifetime and is, therefore, incurable. But is the disease truly irremediable?
Healing is a difficult term in medicine, especially in relation to autoimmune diseases. Because healing does not only imply a complete absence of symptoms (remission), but a regeneration of the body until the initial state restores.
In autoimmune diseases, the autoimmune reaction damages the affected tissue so badly over the years that complete regeneration is not possible.
In this respect, it is difficult to speak of a cure for autoimmune diseases compared to, for example, viral infections. The aim of good therapy, even with ulcerative colitis, should be remission, i.e. complete freedom from symptoms.
In order to improve the quality of life, suppress the symptoms and minimize long-term damage, it is recommended to continue with suitable ulcerative colitis therapy immediately after the diagnosis.
Therapy and medication for ulcerative colitis
Conventional medical therapy for ulcerative colitis depends on the severity and the locus of the disease. In general, we can say that conventional medicine does not aim at remission or healing.
Instead, it grants, those affected, symptom suppression, time and quality of life.
Scientists do not yet know fully what causes the disease. Thus, all is still speculation, as not all possibilities have been sufficiently taken into account with conventional medicine.
The combination of conventional medicine and naturopathy is all the more important in order to offer the best possible and integrative treatment. Scientific studies confirm this combined approach.
In order to give those affected time to suppress the symptoms and improve the quality of life, the use of conventional medical therapy is advisable. Especially during an acute push.
An acute outbreak asks for the administration of anti-inflammatories such as cortisone. If you are intolerant to cortisone, you switch to immunosuppressive drugs such as mercaptopurine, azathioprine, cyclosporin and rarely to tacrolimus. There is also a switch to biologicals such as infliximab, adalimumab and golimumab.
If only the last section of the large intestine is affected, sufferers introduce the active ingredient 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) rectally via suppositories or enemas.
This substance is closely related to ASA (acetylsalicylic acid, aspirin). If the active ingredient does not suffice, your physician will also use cortisone to suppress the immune response.
If the colitis is more widespread, the doctor will prescribe oral 5-ASA. You take it as granules or tablets with a carrier material and only release it in the large intestine.
The preparations are known under the names sulfasalazine and mesalazine. The long-term use of these active substances carries an increased risk of damage to the kidneys and may cause pancreatitis.
As this condition is life-threatening, the patient must receive the treatment in a hospital immediately. This includes a cortisone infusion and the intake of immunosuppressive drugs.
Maintenance therapy (remission therapy)
Doctors use remission therapy in the phases between relapses. Since cortisone has numerous side effects on the organism in the long term, they do not use cortisone here.
Instead, the patient will take a low-dose of 5-ASA in the form of mesalazine. If you are intolerant to mesalazine, the health insurance company can also prescribe probiotics.
Psyllium reduces the intensity and frequency of diarrhea in all phases of the disease. However, the patient should only use them if there are no stenoses (narrowed blood vessels) in the intestine.
With mild to moderate colitis, rosiglitazone has been used more and more in recent years. This is a PPAR-γ agonist. It improves communication between the immune system and intestinal flora and, thus, contributes to a strong relief from inflammation.
Now it’s time that you have your say regarding therapy and medication for ulcerative colitis. Have you suffered, or are you currently suffering from this ailment?
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