Ulcerative Colitis is a gastrointestinal ailment that causes inflammation in the digestive tract. People affected by it often suffer from periods of acute pain and inflammation. These periods are called flares. However, the condition is not continuous in nature and there are bouts of regression. These are phases when the ailment does not interfere with day-to-day activities.
Remission from the effects of Ulcerative Colitis can be achieved with a host of solutions such as medicines and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It can also be achieved by making changes in your diet and switching to a plant-based diet. However, the regressive periods often encourage the diseased not to seek treatment, resulting in relapse or flare. when left untreated, it causes other health issues and can lead to other health conditions such as deficiencies if not treated on time.
Effect on Nutrition
One of the symptoms of the disease is the inflammation of the bowels. When the digestive tract processes food, the bowels help the body absorb some essential nutrients. Due to the inflammation, the body is unable to absorb nutrients from the food and replenish the body. This causes certain deficiencies.
One of these essential nutrients is Vitamin D. It causes Vitamin D deficiency and since Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, Chronic Ulcerative Colitis may cause Osteoporosis as vitamin D. The lack of sufficient nutrition results in chronic fatigue in patients which worsens over time and hence Ulcerative Colitis diet should have wholesome meals to tackle this problem.
It is also known to cause severe dehydration in some instances. This is due to diarrhea caused by the ailment.
Effects on the Colon
According to observations made by Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, 5-8% of people who are diagnosed with the disease have colorectal cancer within 20 years. It also causes other complications such as perforations in the colon, strictures in the colon, colon dysplasia, or colon rupture. Oftentimes untreated Ulcerative Colitis progresses to a stage where the colon has to be removed due to the effect it has on the colon.
Effects on the Mind
The chronic pain and fatigue caused by untreated Ulcerative Colitis might wear one’s spirits down. The resulting deficiencies, complications, or difficulties may cause effects on mental health as well. It is important to understand that to cure Ulcerative Colitis requires positive affirmations as well.
Effect on Kidneys
Untreated ulcerative colitis can also affect your Kidneys. Due to the dehydration caused by diarrhea and other symptoms of the disease, the concentration of uric acid increases in the urine causing complications in the kidneys. Dehydration may also lead to the formation of kidney stones. It may cause bloody discharges and urinary tract infections. It may also lead to vomiting and nausea. Hence it is important to cure ulcerative Colitis on time to avoid complications.
Effects on the Liver
People who suffer from untreated Ulcerative Colitis may also be at risk of several liver complications. They may develop primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), which causes inflammation and scarring of the bile duct. This condition may further lead to other painful diseases such as jaundice, weight loss, itching, and vomiting, causing further discomfort for the ones who are suffering from this disease.
Effects on Joints and Bones
Due to the inability of the colon to absorb sufficient nutrient, long-term, it tends to cause bone loss. About 30% of the people who have this disease suffer from bone loss as well. It also causes bone weakening and brittle bones.
Due to the lack of nutrients, the joints in the body also suffer from painful changes. Most people who suffer from this disease tend to experience joint pain. A direct correlation between Ulcerative Colitis and arthritis has also been established. Men are also at risk of developing spondylitis, which affects 2-3% of the people who suffer from the symptoms of this disease. Ulcerative Colitis diet can help cure ulcerative colitis and tackle these deficiencies simultaneously.
Relation with Cardiovascular Issues
Many people who suffer from this disease for long periods are also at risk of getting a heart attack or getting a stroke, which is notably high during flares. The main reason behind this is that the inflammation is not limited to the bowels and if it is left untreated for long periods, the inflammation tends to affect the arteries and cause blockages, leading to complications of the cardiovascular system. It is important for patients to look for signs of cardiovascular issues. To cure ulcerative colitis naturally means to avoid these long-term illnesses.
Effect on the Eyes
There are several complications observed in people with untreated Ulcerative Colitis, one of them is the effect it has on the eyes. Due to the dehydration and lack of nutrients, the middle layer of the eye is inflamed causing eye pain, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision.
Effects on the Skin
Untreated Ulcerative Colitis also causes erythema nodosum, which causes bluish-red nodules to develop under the skin or it causes pyoderma gangrenosum which causes ulcers on your skin that ooze pus. They need separate treatment consisting of antibiotics and ointments.
Ulcerative Colitis is a disease that largely affects the digestive tract but due to the inflammation of the digestive tract and the low absorption of nutrients along with other symptoms oftentimes lead to complications that aren’t related to the gastrointestinal tract. Due to the severity of some of the symptoms which can be potentially life-threatening, the disease should be treated on time with the right methods such as the right ulcerative colitis diet. This helps avoid further degradation of health and more discomfort for those who suffer from it.