Chronic Colitis: Symptoms and Treatment
Chronic colitis of the intestine is an inflammatory process that affects the mucous membrane, as well as the submucosa of this organ. It can be accompanied by characteristic signs, among which diarrhea and constipation, severe spasms, rumbling and increased emission of gases. This type of disease occurs with alternating periods of exacerbation and withdrawal symptoms. Often accompanied by inflammatory processes of other organs of the digestive tract.
This disorder occurs equally in women and men, only the age of onset is different. Female representatives — from twenty to sixty-five years, male — from forty to sixty five years of age. The causes of this disorder are quite diverse. It can be favorably served as an acute course of a disease of the gastrointestinal tract, or the effect of microorganisms, and the long-term impact of stressful situations or the use of poor-quality food.
Diagnosis of the disease is not difficult, because it has specific external and internal manifestations. Therapy consists of a complex of means, but the most important role is played by a specially formulated diet for chronic colitis.
Chronic colitis can be caused by a wide range of etiological factors. The main of which are:
- pathological effects of microorganisms
- parasites and worms
- various body intoxications
- the effect of radioactive radiation, for example, in the treatment of oncological diseases
- taking a long time some medications, side effects which affect the integrity of the intestinal mucosa
- genetic predisposition or congenital metabolic abnormalities
- an allergic reaction to certain foods
- lesions of arteries feeding the small and large intestine
- autoimmune connective tissue diseases;
- ingestion of metallic compounds, mercury or arsenic (often in unfavorable working conditions)
- Complications after surgery
- a harmful addiction to alcoholic beverages for many years
The spastic form of the disease can be caused by:
- long-term stress or conflict situations
- irrational nutrition. Eating acute, salted and fatty foods
- alcohol abuse
- protracted course of intestinal infections
- allergy to any food
- chronic constipation;
- emotional shock
- hormonal imbalance.
Nonspecific ulcerative colitis is formed on the basis of the following factors:
- genetic predisposition;
- infectious diseases. In this case, different microorganisms can induce such a disorder on their own, but under certain circumstances, the immune system may react inappropriately to non-bacteria that can not respond;
- autoimmune processes — in which the human body independently attacks its own cells
- Malignant neoplasms.
The aggravation of chronic colitis can result:
- unrest or stress
- weak immunity, for example, after infections;
- nutritional deficiencies in vitamins and vitamins
- low-calorie food
- taking alcoholic beverages even in small quantities.
The disease occurs in several types:
- spastic — manifests itself by strong painful sensations arising in different parts of the intestine, which is why the place of formation of unpleasant sensations changes;
- ulcerative colitis. The form of this disease, which is characterized by the spread of pain throughout the intestines. To the main signs is added the formation of ulcers and bleeding.
Depending on the cause of the onset, chronic colitis can be:
- combined — which combines several etiological factors.
The prevalence of the disease is:
- segmental — only a certain intestinal tract is involved in the pathological process
- total — when all parts of the colon are affected. In this form, nonspecific ulcerative colitis often occurs.
Classification by severity of expression:
- an easy degree — which makes it easy to reach the stage of remission;
- of moderate severity — a person must adhere to a diet and take medications in order to maintain a prolonged retreat of symptoms;
- Severe — periods of exacerbation predominate over periods of decreased intensity of manifestation of symptoms of the disorder.
Since the chronic course of the disease involves alternating periods of exacerbation and withdrawal of symptoms, patients often seek help from a doctor just in time of acute manifestation of symptoms. During the remission they are expressed in a weak degree or completely absent. Thus, the symptoms of chronic colitis are:
- soreness, the place of localization of which extends to the lateral parts of the abdomen. Pain can range from severe spasms to aching, and usually does not go to other internal organs;
- diarrhea followed by constipation, or vice versa
- rumbling in the intestines — can bring discomfort, because it is permanent;
- frequent eructations, often with an unpleasant odor
- resizing belly;
- a large amount of emitted gases
- Absence of a feeling of complete emptying of the intestines, which often leads to discomfort, and this, in turn, is the reason for frequent mood swings and irritability of the patient
- False urge to isolate stool. Emptying occurs every few days
- persistent nausea and malaise
- the appearance of an unpleasant aftertaste in the oral cavity
- weakness of the body
- severe fatigue occurs even when performing low-intensity exercise;
- sleep disturbances manifested in the form of insomnia or a change in rest, when the person sleeps or is drowsy during the day, and is awake during the night;
- pallor of the skin;
- increased hair loss and brittle nails
- change in taste preferences.
Signs of nonspecific ulcerative colitis:
- the appearance in the stools of impurities of blood or purulent fluid
- diarrhea predominates over constipation
- pain in the lower abdomen — often mild, may resemble tingling or colic. In cases where spasms increase, it can mean a lesion of deep intestinal tissues;
- bloating in the lower abdomen;
- increase in body temperature;
- Decrease or total lack of appetite, which leads to weight loss
- inflammation of the vascular, mucous and iris of the eyes. But such a sign is extremely rare;
- muscle weakness;
- joint pain.
During the exacerbation of symptoms with ulcerative colitis, there may be changes in the intestinal mucosa. Among them:
- bleeding, which can be seen from the impurities of blood in the feces or change in its color (in which case it will turn black);
- the formation of small sores;
- occurrence of neoplasms similar to polyps. Appear only during inflammation.
Symptoms of chronic colitis of a spastic character:
- the onset of painful spasms that increase during the night or during a long period of food failure
- increased gas formation;
- alternating constipation and diarrhea
- insomnia, as a result of which a person is constantly tired,
- Headache attacks of varying intensity
- complete emptying of the intestine can be done from the second or third time. The very process of stool withdrawal occurs once every few days;
- constant rumbling in the abdomen.
In order to reduce the manifestation of symptoms, you must constantly adhere to the diet, but it is important to keep in mind that some products may appear constipation.
Complications can only cause ulcerative colitis. The consequences can be:
- perforation of the ulcer, which often causes peritonitis. Symptoms of chronic colitis in this case will be expressed in a strong swelling and tension of the abdominal muscles, chills accompanied by high fever, plaque and weakness of the body
- gangrene of affected areas of the intestine and colon. At the same time, people suffer from low blood pressure, weakness and high fever;
- blood poisoning or spread of infection to other organs
- Intestinal bleeding — this indicates ulcerative colitis
- the appearance of an oncological neoplasm.
To confirm the diagnosis of chronic spastic or ulcerative colitis, you need to seek help from a therapist or gastroenterologist who will:
- conversation with the patient, during which it is necessary to report all the symptoms, without exception, since each type of disease has specific signs, as well as the time of their first appearance and the duration of the remission phase
- examining the patient — which consists of probing the abdomen and examining the eyes. If there is inflammation, this indicates a nonspecific ulcerative colitis, and an ophthalmologist is connected to the diagnosis;
- general and biochemical blood test
- stool analysis — to detect blood or purulent impurities
- study of the large intestine with an endoscope
- Colonoscopy, which will help distinguish the phase of exacerbation from remission;
- Radiography of abdominal organs using contrast medium
- Ultrasound — to exclude other bowel pathologies in spastic or nonspecific chronic colitis
Treatment of chronic colitis will differ depending on the phase of the disease. During the period when the symptoms manifest themselves, the therapy consists of observing the diet, and with the aggravation, medicinal methods of therapy are prescribed. Treatment is assigned individually, based on the type of disorder, the intensity of the symptoms and the general condition of the patient. Often prescribe such medicines for the treatment of chronic colitis:
- probiotics — restoring the number of beneficial microorganisms
- antispasmodics — reducing the manifestation of soreness
- laxative or binding drugs, depending on what the patient is worried about — constipation or diarrhea
- high enzyme drug substances
- corticosteroids and immunosuppressants for ulcerative colitis
- Covering and sedative medications — for the treatment of spastic colitis
Drug therapy will not be fully effective without adherence to a special diet. The diet for chronic colitis consists of the following rules:
- Enrich the diet with fiber, which is found in large quantities in bread, vegetables and cereals. Fiber is an essential element for the treatment of spastic colitis
- eat small meals four to six times a day;
- lean meat and fish can only be eaten in boiled form. You can add boiled eggs to them;
- the first dishes cooked on vegetable broths should prevail in the food
- peel vegetables and fruits
- consuming large quantities of seafood;
- You should discard the foods and drinks that irritate the intestines. These include — carbonated beverages and legumes, dairy and sour milk products, spicy seasonings and spirits, nuts and table salt
- The diet should be high-calorie and contain a large number of proteins, vitamins and other trace elements.
Surgical intervention is only required to eliminate complications.
There are also methods of treating chronic colitis with folk remedies, but their effectiveness causes a lot of controversy among doctors, so they can only be used after consulting with specialists.
In order to prolong the phase of remission in case of chronic colitis, it is necessary:
- adhere to the diet;
- use a large amount of liquid per day — at least two liters
- Wash hands thoroughly after the street, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables before ingesting food
- lead a healthy lifestyle by refraining from drinking alcohol and smoking
- at the first urge to visit the toilet room
- undergo an examination with a gastroenterologist in case of the slightest problems with the functioning of the intestine.