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SGC SEO LP: The risks and complication of untreated ulcerative colitis

The potential risks and complications of untreated ulcerative colitis

Find out why ulcerative colitis should be treated early.

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Ulcerative colitis is a long-term inflammatory gastrointestinal condition that mainly affects the colon and the rectum, causing inflammation and ulcers.

This is a slow-progressing disease, and the symptoms may worsen over time. 

What causes this condition is still unknown.

Medical researchers believe that ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune condition that causes the immune system to mistakenly attack the tissue of the large intestine and colon.

Common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:

  • Pain in the rectum
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Frequent diarrhoea, sometimes with pus and blood
  • Stunted growth in children

Ulcerative colitis is a long-term inflammatory gastrointestinal condition that mainly affects the colon and the rectum, causing inflammation and ulcers.

This is a slow-progressing disease, and the symptoms may worsen over time. 

What causes this condition is still unknown.

Medical researchers believe that ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune condition that causes the immune system to mistakenly attack the tissue of the large intestine and colon.

Common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:

  • Pain in the rectum
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Frequent diarrhoea, sometimes with pus and blood
  • Stunted growth in children

Ulcerative colitis is a long-term inflammatory gastrointestinal condition that mainly affects the colon and the rectum, causing inflammation and ulcers.

This is a slow-progressing disease, and the symptoms may worsen over time. 

What causes this condition is still unknown.

Medical researchers believe that ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune condition that causes the immune system to mistakenly attack the tissue of the large intestine and colon.

Common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:

  • Pain in the rectum
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Frequent diarrhoea, sometimes with pus and blood
  • Stunted growth in children

Complications of untreated ulcerative colitis

Although ulcerative colitis may not always be a life-threatening condition, it should not be taken lightly. If left untreated, patients may develop severe medical conditions such as colorectal cancer and colonic dysplasia.

Colorectal cancer is a slow-progressing form of cancer and may be difficult to detect until it reaches a critical stage. 

Patients with ulcerative colitis should go for regular cancer screenings to detect possible signs of colorectal cancer early.

Some other medical conditions that may develop due to untreated ulcerative colitis are:

  • Osteoporosis: A condition that causes bones to weaken, which may happen due to vitamin D deficiencies caused by ulcerative colitis.
  • Arthritis: Pain in the joints.

Aside from other medical conditions, when untreated, ulcerative colitis symptoms could flare up without warning, and the frequent diarrhoea may lead to patients becoming dehydrated and developing vitamin deficiencies.

Complications of untreated ulcerative colitis

Although ulcerative colitis may not always be a life-threatening condition, it should not be taken lightly. If left untreated, patients may develop severe medical conditions such as colorectal cancer and colonic dysplasia.

Colorectal cancer is a slow-progressing form of cancer and may be difficult to detect until it reaches a critical stage. 

Patients with ulcerative colitis should go for regular cancer screenings to detect possible signs of colorectal cancer early.

Some other medical conditions that may develop due to untreated ulcerative colitis are:

  • Osteoporosis: A condition that causes bones to weaken, which may happen due to vitamin D deficiencies caused by ulcerative colitis.
  • Arthritis: Pain in the joints.

Aside from other medical conditions, when untreated, ulcerative colitis symptoms could flare up without warning, and the frequent diarrhoea may lead to patients becoming dehydrated and developing vitamin deficiencies.

Complications of untreated ulcerative colitis

Although ulcerative colitis may not always be a life-threatening condition, it should not be taken lightly. If left untreated, patients may develop severe medical conditions such as colorectal cancer and colonic dysplasia.

Colorectal cancer is a slow-progressing form of cancer and may be difficult to detect until it reaches a critical stage. 

Patients with ulcerative colitis should go for regular cancer screenings to detect possible signs of colorectal cancer early.

Some other medical conditions that may develop due to untreated ulcerative colitis are:

  • Osteoporosis: A condition that causes bones to weaken, which may happen due to vitamin D deficiencies caused by ulcerative colitis.
  • Arthritis: Pain in the joints.

Aside from other medical conditions, when untreated, ulcerative colitis symptoms could flare up without warning, and the frequent diarrhoea may lead to patients becoming dehydrated and developing vitamin deficiencies.

Risk factors for ulcerative colitis

Age

1 in 250 Australians between the ages of 5-40 may develop this disease. That said, most people are likely to encounter this condition after the age of 30.

Ethnicity

While ulcerative colitis can occur in anyone of any race, Caucasians may be more susceptible to the condition.

Inheritance

People with a family history of ulcerative colitis are more likely to develop this condition.

Age

1 in 250 Australians between the ages of 5-40 may develop this disease. That said, most people are likely to encounter this condition after the age of 30.

Ethnicity

While ulcerative colitis can occur in anyone of any race, Caucasians may be more susceptible to the condition.

Inheritance

People with a family history of ulcerative colitis are more likely to develop this condition.

Visit the Sydney Gut Clinic

At the Sydney Gut Clinic, our gastrointestinal specialists are trusted, experienced, and empathetic and ensure you receive the best medical care for all your gastrointestinal conditions. 

Untreated ulcerative colitis may lead to dire complications, but with proper treatment from our clinic, you may be able to bring this condition under control.

If you experience any symptoms of ulcerative colitis, get in touch with our medical team or visit our clinic at the Alexandra Specialist Day hospital.

FAQs

Is colitis similar to ulcerative colitis?

No. 

Colitis usually means that the colon is irritated or inflamed, sometimes due to an infection. 

Ulcerative colitis, on the other hand, is a long-term condition that causes ulcers along the inner lining of the rectum and colon.

Also, ulcerative colitis is not caused by an infection.

Are there different types of ulcerative colitis?

There are four types of ulcerative colitis:

  • Proctosigmoiditis: The inflammation happens at the lower end of the colon.
  • Left-sided colitis: The inflammation spreads from the rectum to the colon.
  • Pancolitis: The entire colon is inflamed.
  • Ulcerative proctitis: The inflammation is exclusive to the rectum.

How is ulcerative colitis treated?

  • Corticosteroids: These are anti-inflammatory drugs that are usually the first medications ulcerative colitis patients are prescribed. 
  • Cyclosporine: These are immune suppressors that block immune responses, preventing inflammation.
  • Surgery: Surgery is required when the condition has escalated to a severe stage and involves removing the entire colon.

Speak to our medical team for treatment and support for ulcerative colitis

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