Understanding Colitis, it’s Symptoms and Treatment
Understanding colitis is crucial in the treatment of the condition and preventing it from happening. A person who has this condition will be able to deal with the illness better if he has all the basic information about his illness.
Colitis is a medical condition that occurs when the colon gets inflamed. The colon, also known as large intestine, is that part of the body that takes charge of storing the waste products from the body’s digestive process. The colon is a long tube made of muscles and works by pushing out food that is undigested towards the direction of the anus until it is disposed of as human waste.
Understanding The Human Body’s Digestive System
To understand clearly how colon works, let’s discuss a little something about the body’s digestive system. In the digestive system, the stomach receives the food that we eat after passing through the esophagus. The stomach is responsible for digesting the food, turning into a slurry form of liquid and passing it into the small intestine. In the small intestine, the liquefied food seep into the body as nutrients, giving man the health sustenance that he needs to live.
From the small intestine, the food that was not absorbed by the body as nutrients is pushed to the colon and mixes with the bacteria that live there. It also mixes with mucus in the colon. Together they will form as the body’s waste products. From the colon, the waste products are pushed out of the body by passing through the anus during a bowel movement.
Layers In The Colon
There are several layers in the colon’s wall. One of these layers is made of smooth muscle that encloses the exterior part of the colon. This muscle squeezes the food through the entire stretch of the large intestine. Another layer, which is found in the interior wall of the colon, is called mucosa. It gets into contact with the fluid inside the colon and enables the absorption of electrolytes and water to happen. This process solidifies the human waste as feces. It is in this interior layer of the colon, or the mucosa, that colitis take place.
Colitis is of several types, all of them involving the inflammation of the colon. Some types can be mild while others can be so severe that they are life-threatening. One of the major types of colitis is ulcerative colitis, a colon that is characterized by rectal bleeding, loss of appetite, skin lesions, joint pain, fatigue and anemia. Children with the condition may also suffer stunted growth.
Another type of colitis is ischemic colitis. This condition is characterized by a restricted colon due to lack of supply. The restriction of the intestinal muscles causes the inflammation.
About 5 percent of people with ulcerative colitis develop colon cancer.
When all else fails and the condition has deteriorated into something that is life-threatening, doctors will recommend surgery. Surgery is the last recourse in the prevention and treatment of colitis. In this procedure, the affected part of the colon is removed.