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Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis (Latin colitis ulcerosa) is one of the so-called non-specific diseases of inflammatory bowel disease of unknown cause. It is characterized by the intestinal submucosa and mucosa that involves an inflammatory process. The course of this ailment is chronic – it occurs for a long time in periods of remission followed by acute relapses. In the case of this disease, activation of the immune system with infiltration of the mucosa is observed, accompanying with gastrointestinal tract by numerous cells of the immune response.


The main symptom of ulcerative colitis is diarrhea (it may be bloody) and lesions inflammation in the rectum leading to weight loss. A sick person often takes care of himself and suffers from abdomen pain (usually in the lower left quadrant of the abdomen), fever often develops and weakness. In the event of gastrointestinal bleeding, repeated diarrhea, abdominal pain, increased temperature or unexplained (unintentional) weight loss see a doctor (gastroenterologist).


The following pharmacological agents are used to treat this disease:

  • 5-aminosalicylic acid preparations (5-ASA – mesalazine, sulfasalazine) – they are indicated especially in the event of mild to moderate relapses of ulcerative thick colitis
  • glucocorticosteroids – which are effective in treating moderate conditions and allow getting an improvement in about 3 weeks,
  • immunosuppressants (azathioprine and mercaptopurine) – are used mainly in the treatment of resistance to treatment with glucocorticoids.

It may be necessary, if a severe relapse is not amenable to pharmacological treatment, undergo surgical treatment: resection of part or all of the colon.