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Ulcerative colitis | Symptoms | Treatment | Diet for colitis | Ulcerous colitis signs | Medication | Colitis cures | Support in the UK | Ulcerating colitis risks | Frequently asked questions

Ulcerative colitis may not be too serious in itself, but it can, and often does lead, to potentially life threatening health issues. Early treatment of ulcerating colitis is vital to prevent these secondary conditions from occurring.

Perhaps the most worry aspect of ulcerating colitis is the risk of developing bowel cancer. The longer you have the condition, the greater your risk of bowel cancer. If you have colitis for ten years, your risk of bowel cancer is just over 2%. This increases to 8% after twenty years, and 18% after thirty years. A healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise can reduce your risk factor. Stopping smoking and reducing your alcohol intake can also have a positive effect.

Another risk of ulcerating colitis is primary sclerosis cholangitis (PSC). This affects 5% of people with colitis, and is where the bile ducts become inflamed and damaged over time. PSC has a variety of symptoms including diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, and high temperature. Jaundice can also occur as a result.

Osteoporosis is also a risk from ulcerating colitis due to the prolonged use of steroids typically prescribed to treat the condition. This thinning and weakening of the bones can be addressed through medication and vitamin supplements. Approximately one in seven people with colitis will develop osteoporosis.

You can also develop toxic medication as result of ulcerating colitis. This is where the inflammation of the colon is so severe, that gases become trapped and begin to swell. Infection or even a rupture can occur as a result. One in twenty colitis sufferers with develop this condition.

These serious secondary illnesses are why it's so important to have regular check-ups if you are suffering from colitis. Most diseases can be effectively addressed if caught at an early enough stage. However, the outlook can be very poor if such conditions are allowed to develop unabated.

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