Pancolitis is the type of inflammation that can affect the colon. The term itself can explain the disease. Pan means the entire or all and colitis refers to colon inflammation. So, the inflammation of the entire colon can give your distress. It mostly affects your bowel or large intestine. The full name of the disease is pan-ulcerative colitis. The inflammation of the bowel results in the problem. So, it is also known as universal colitis or total colitis.
You may get affected by the disease as a result of ulcerative colitis. It is not a sudden disease. The large intestine gets affected by sores or inflammation over a long period of time. It is the chronic condition that has no specific cure. Most patients of ulcerative colitis can suffer from pancolitis (approximately 20% to 40%).
What Is Pancolitis?
Pancolitis is the disease that affects your colon. The colon is the organ found at the end of the rectum. It stores the waste (feces) before it leaves your body. Ulcerative colitis patients are more at risk of getting pancolitis. Around 20% of people who have ulcerative colitis can get affected by pancolitis. So, before getting in detail about pancolitis, it is better to know about ulcerative colitis.
Ulcerative colitis causes small ulcers on the colon. It comes under the category of autoimmune disease. The ulcers may produce mucus and pus leading to discomfort. So, you may experience rectal bleeding, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort. Pancolitis is the sub-type of the disease that is not completely curable. The disease may cause a severe impact on your life. It is not clear of what causes the problem. But, you need to check for the symptoms to get treatment immediately.
Symptoms Of Pancolitis
You may experience several signs of the issue. You can identify it as pancolitis with the following symptoms:
You may experience severe abdominal pain with the issue. It may accompany with cramps. So, the pain you feel may vary with the severity of the issue. You can experience mild to severe pain. It may become excruciating with the bowel movements.
The other major symptom is recurring diarrhea. The stool may contain mucus, pus or blood with it. It is due to the fact that bowel inflammation can lead to colon contracting more. So, the movement of the stool is at a faster rate. Therefore, the bowel has very less time for the feces to solidify. So, the stool comes out in liquid form. Recurrent diarrhea will lead to electrolyte imbalance and dehydration.
The moderate case of pancolitis often accompanies with fever. It is caused due to the anemia. The excess loss of blood through the rectum is bad for your body. So, you may experience an increase in your body temperature.
You can feel extreme tiredness or exhaustion. You may feel a lack of energy that will restrict your daily functions. The tiredness is attributed to the anemia. The inflammation disorder can take a toll on your body. So, your muscle feels weak.
It is the feeling to pass stool urgently even with nothing in the bowel. So, you feel going to the toilet but pass no stools.
Loss Of Appetite
Pancolitis can restrict your intake of food. So, the main sign is the loss of appetite.
Your food intake decreases with inflammation disorder. It also restricts the absorption of the necessary nutrients in your intestine. So, it may lead to weight loss. The recurrent dehydration will also contribute to weight loss.
Pancolitis affected people can also experience night sweats. So, you may have repeated episodes of perspiration. The extreme case can soak your bedding or night clothes. It often points to something wrong in your health condition.
The inflammation in your intestine can lead to sores or ulcer formation. So, it damages your mucosal tissue lining. The erosion of the lining can result in intestinal bleeding. It is the main cause of bloody diarrhea.
Relapse Of Pancolitis Signs
You may have felt relieved after you see no symptoms of pancolitis for some time. But, it can return with vengeance after a significant period of time. Relapsing or flare-ups is the sudden return of the inflammatory disorder. The flare-ups can have other signs and symptoms that you need to know:
- Ulcers in your mouth
- Red eyes/ Irritates eyes
- Swollen or/and painful joints
- Shortness of breath
- High body temperature
- Irregular/fast heartbeat
- Bloody stools
Causes Of Pancolitis
The inflammatory bowel disease is a type of autoimmune problems. So, your body attacks the healthy tissue instead of the infection. The exact cause of the disease is not confirmed. But, several factors triggers the development of the disease. Some of the major factors that cause the issue are:
A person with the family history of the disease has more chances of getting it. The genetic predisposition makes you more susceptible to the issue.
Problems In Digestive System
Abnormalities in the digestive system due to any disease, bacteria, or medication can result in the problem.
Diet rich in high fats and carbohydrates can lead to the inflammation of the colon. So, people including such foods are prone to the issue.
Factors like clean water, nutritious food, fresh air contribute to the overall health. The impure air with pollutants, bad diet, and impure water can lead to inflammation.
The toxic elements in the cigarettes can irritate the blood vessels in your digestive tract leading to pancolitis.
Men and women aged around fifteen to twenty-five years are at risk of getting pancolitis.
Diagnosis Of Pancolitis
The pain and discomfort caused by the disease need immediate medical attention. So, seeking an appointment with the doctor will help you get the best treatment plan. Your doctor may conduct the following for a better diagnosis of the disease:
The doctor may conduct your general health evaluation. You also need to answer questions about the symptoms, medical history, and your discomfort.
The doctor may send the stool and blood samples to the laboratory for a better insight on the issue. The results of the test indicate the presence of infection, inflammation, and other issue presents. Your doctor will establish the presence of inflammatory bowel disease by ordering further tests like:
- Blood test to check the inflammatory markers and cell counts
- X-ray or CT scan to get a clear picture of the complications in the abdomen. It can also rule out the complications of other diseases.
- Colonoscopy can perform a detailed examination of the colon. The camera (colonoscope) attached at the end of the flexible tube facilitates it. The procedure is also helpful to take a biopsy sample. Colonoscopy is an uncomfortable procedure. But, it offers better details about the health of the colon.
Treatment Options Available For Pancolitis
Your doctor will advise a treatment plant depending on the severity of the condition. It also depends upon the symptoms you experience and how it affects your daily life. Remember that the condition is not curable. You can reduce the symptoms until it does not affect your life. It is known as remission and you can maintain it for a good life. So, the main treatment option available for the issue are:
For pancolitis, your doctor may suggest medication as the first level of treatment. Depending on the symptoms, you have four medications to reduce distress. The medications offered for the treatment of pancolitis are:
The medication treats mild to moderate cases of pancolitis. The medication causes no side effects and is safe to use. It can reduce inflammation. You can use the medicine in the following methods:
- Capsule or tablet form
- Through Enema
- Place as a suppository in the rectum
It is the medication that comes under the class of steroids. The powerful medication can reduce inflammation. It also has immunosuppressive properties. Your doctor may advise you to take it orally, through an enema or as a suppository. Remember the medication is powerful. So, it is not used for a long time. It can cause severe side effects like cataracts or osteoporosis. Therefore, it is used short-term for reducing the symptoms.
It is given to patients with mild to moderate flare-ups. The medication in the form of tablets will reduce immune system activities. But, it causes infection and anemia in some patients.
Your doctor may prescribe biologics to target the specific components. The IV infusion/injection is opted to administer it in your body. It targets the immune system components that cause inflammation.
Invasive surgery is the last resort for pancolitis treatment. It is a decision that your doctor may offer you after careful consideration. Surgery is the only option if you experience the following:
- Flare-ups that affects the quality of your life and the daily functions
- Your body is not responding to the medications provided causing you immense distress
The surgery removes your colon completely. So, the chances of pancolitis returning are completely zero. But, the removal of the colon includes serious consequences that you need to know before agreeing to it. The waste gets collected in a bag after the colon removal. It leaves your small intestine through a hole in the abdomen to the bag. The bag (ileostomy) needs replacement after it gets discarded. You may also have to undergo a second surgery. It is to create an internal pouch (ileoanal pouch) that will facilitate the connection of small intestine to your anus. So, it can allow the passing of stools normally.
Complications Due To Pancolitis
You need to understand that pancolitis is a condition that can have serious complications. Having it untreated for years can cause issues in your digestive health. With better medical assistance, you can avoid it. But, ignoring the problem can cause a risk to your health. So, you may have to face some severe complications like:
Researches indicate that the longer time you have the disease, your risk of getting bowel cancer is high. Therefore, seek good treatment to manage pancolitis. Cancer is a deadly disease that can harm your body and self-confidence. Therefore, try to prevent it by taking necessary steps.
It is the condition that leads to colon dilation. When the inflammation becomes serious, then it leads to the problem. You may experience several symptoms like:
- Abdominal Pain
- Colon Rupture
The condition requires immediate surgery. Therefore, check the signs to avoid the severe complication.
You may lose blood due to pancolitis. It can cause iron deficiency in your body. So, you may become anemic.
Untreated pancolitis can develop into fulminant colitis. It is a rare disease that has symptoms like:
- Diarrhea with blood
- Severe abdominal pain
Therefore, consult a doctor. Getting adequate medical assistance can help you manage the disease. It will also avoid serious complications associated with it.
Yes, you can prevent the painful disease from havocking your life. You can include some good habits to maintain overall health. So, follow tips to avoid complications due to the disease.
What you eat is a significant factor in avoiding diseases like pancolitis. So, include a diet that can ensure your body stays healthy. Have food rich in protein and other nutrients. Therefore include items like:
It will provide your body with the protein and essential nutrients that it cannot make on its own. It will also keep your immunity system strong. Including health food will also guarantee that your metabolic process runs smoothly.
Apart from having healthy food, you need to include fiber. High fiber items can ensure good bowel movement. It reduces the strain on your digestive system. Hence, include food items like:
- It will keep your intestines healthy.
Good hydration is important to remove the toxic accumulation in your body. It will also ensure your intestines work properly. So, drink at least 8-10 glasses of water.
Excess spices can irritate your digestive tract. It will lead to more cramping and excess bowel movement. Hence, it can cause diarrhea. Therefore, it is best to avoid spicy food as it can worsen your symptoms and trigger flare-ups.
Though stress does not cause the disease, it can worsen the symptoms. So, try to manage the stress effectively. As stress is the root issue of many health problems, managing it can improve your health. Therefore, include relaxation techniques like meditation to overcome it.
Including physical exercise in your daily routine can rejuvenate your body, mind, and soul. It will improve your focus and overall health.
Pancolitis is a disease that not only affects your body but also your relationships. You may find the work and personal relationship at chaos due to the issue. So, you need good communication to let your fear out. If you suspect the disease, talk to your doctor to clear it. Or are you in remission? Then, seek emotional support from family and friends. It will help you deal with the problem better. Getting advice from health care professionals will help you overcome the fear and anxiety associated with the disease.
Pancolitis is a condition that has no complete cure. You can only manage it and keep it at bay. Remember that the issue not just affects your health. You may also experience emotional issues. But, with appropriate medical attention, you can lead a good life. Get the help of your doctor to keep the disease in remission. Talk to your doctor, friends, and family members to overcome the emotional issues caused by the disease. With smart choices and intelligent actions, you can lead a normal and healthy life.View Article Sources