Inflammation Of The Colon

Written by Jacey Harmon
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Inflammation of the colon is often associated with ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease afflicting the colon. First identified in 1875, by Wilks and Moxon, ulcerative colitis's main symptoms are consistent diarrhea and rectal bleeding. The identification of ulcerative colitis as a non-infectious caused disease was a significant finding at the time. Prior to the discovery, it was widely believed all diarrheal diseases were caused by infections from bacteria or viruses.

With worldwide distribution but more common in the western hemisphere, ulcerative colitis affects about 170 per 100,000 of the population. As noted above, the most common symptoms are diarrhea and rectal bleeding. Yet, patients may experience a host of other symptoms as well--fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, and loss of body fluids and nutrients. Children with ulcerative colitis may fail to develop properly.

Ulcerative colitis has similar affects and symptoms as Crohn's disease. There is one major difference, however, between the two. Ulcerative colitis affects only the colon. Meanwhile, Crohn's disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. There is a difference in how the diseases infect a person as well. Crohn's disease can show infection in "patches" with healthy portions of intestine in-between each infected portion. With ulcerative colitis, the disease infects the entire rectum and works its way up into the colon without leaving any patches.

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disorder which symptoms may occur in "peaks and valleys"; periods in which the disease is active or in remission. For most individuals, medical treatment is enough to keep the disease in remission. In severe cases, however, surgery is an option that can cure the individual of the disease. Surgery requires the removal of the colon, and installing an internal bag to take its place, and is likely to bring the patient back to full health.

Identifying Cancer Risk Through Colon Inflammation Detection

When elevated in the blood stream, C-reactive protein indicates inflammation in the body. Produced by the liver, C-reactive protein is commonly used to identify a patient's risk of stroke or heart attack. Recent research has shown elevated levels of C-protein may indicate a high risk of developing colon cancer. Researchers believe more research needs to be completed to determine how useful C-reactive protein is in predicting colon cancer. Researchers, however, have found that those who developed colon cancer had higher C-protein levels in the blood than those who didn't develop colon cancer.

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