Ulcerative colitis is a condition that causes diarrhoea, belly pain, and bloody bowel movements. These symptoms happen because the massive intestine becomes inflamed and gets sores called “ulcers.” The massive intestine is part of the digestive system. It’s also called the colon.
Symptoms may be mild or severe. they’ll include:
- Diarrhoea that always has blood in it
- Belly pain
- Weight loss
- Joint pain, eye irritation, or skin rashes
Yes. Gastroenterologists can do the subsequent tests:
- Blood tests
- Imaging tests – like X-rays, CT scans or MRI scans. Imaging tests create pictures of the within the body.
- A test called a “colonoscopy” – This test looks at the liner of the colon. During this test, a Gastroenterologist puts a thin tube into the rectum (the lower a part of the large intestine) and moves it up into the colon. The tube contains a camera on that. It also has tools attached so the Gastroenterologist can take samples of tissue to look at under a microscope. Sometimes Gastroenterologists do a test called an “upper endoscopy” at the same time. During this test, the Gastroenterologist looks at the upper part of the digestive system.
That depends on each child’s symptoms and other factors. Treatments can include:
- Medicines that go directly into the rectum – Gastroenterologists give these medicines to children with ulcerative colitis that affects only the rectum.
- Steroid medicines – If other medicines don’t work, Gastroenterologists can give steroid medicines to reduce swelling. Steroid medicines are usually taken for a few weeks or months at a time.
- Stronger medicines for severe cases – These medicines work on the system the same as the colon from damage. Common ones are “6-mercaptopurine,” “azathioprine” and anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) medicines such as “infliximab” and “adalimumab.”
Some children with severe symptoms need treatment in the hospital until the symptoms get well.
Ulcerative colitis and a few of the medicines that treat it can affect your child’s growth. During treatment, the Gastroenterologist will check your child’s height and weight often to create sure he or she is growing as normally as possible.
When medicines don’t work, Gastroenterologists can do surgery to get rid of the colon. After the colon is removed, ulcerative colitis doesn’t come back.
When Gastroenterologists do surgery for ulcerative colitis in children, they’ll remove the colon and rectum. After this, they can:
- Connect the remainder of the intestine to the anus straight away. Children who have this surgery can have bowel movements the normal way.
If your child has ulcerative colitis, he or she will have an increased risk of carcinoma. The danger for colon cancer starts about 10 years after ulcerative colitis is found. After that, your child should have a colonoscopy every 1 or 2 years. Gastroenterologists can look for colon cancer and treat it if they find it.