ULCERATIVE COLITIS SOLICITORS - MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE COMPENSATION
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Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that only affects the colon and rectum. The cause of ulcerative colitis is not known. It can affect any age group although there are peak ages of 15 to 30 and also between 50 and 70. The disease starts in the rectum and moves up the colon to the cecum. There is thickening of the wall of the colon and rectum and often scar tissue forms. There can be colonic ischaemia and death, resulting in sepsis or blood infection in very severe situations.
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis can come on quickly or slowly. Stress and respiratory infections can bring on the symptoms. Risk factors include having a family history of the disease or being of Jewish descent.
The symptoms include abdominal pain and cramping that is improved after a bowel movement, much gurgling of the stomach, extreme diarrhoea, rectal pain, fever and loss of weight. In addition, there can be nausea or vomiting, GI bleeding and pain in the joints.
Doctors can do tests to identify ulcerative colitis. The most common test is a colonoscopy that can do biopsies of the colon wall. Colonoscopies are done in order to check for the presence of colon cancer, which is common in ulcerative colitis. Colonoscopies for cancer should be done around 8-12 years after the diagnosis of ulcerative colitis and should be repeated every 1 to 2 years after that. Other tests done for ulcerative colitis include a barium enema, a blood test for a blood count and C-reactive protein and a erythrocyte sedimentation rate, which will be high when there is active disease.
Treatment for ulcerative colitis includes medications to control acute attacks of the disease, prevent repeated attacks of the disease and to help the colon get better from the disease. It is often necessary to hospitalize a person with a severe attack of ulcerative colitis. IV steroids may need to be given to control inflammation of the colon.
Diet and nutrition are important for healing and controlling ulcerative colitis. You need to eat small amounts of food at a time and drink plenty of water. You should void fatty foods and foods like butter, heavy cream and margarine. You should avoid high fiber foods such as beans, nuts, seeds, bran and popcorn. Milk should be limited, especially if you are lactose intolerant. You should not drink alcohol or take in too much caffeine.
Medications are available to control ulcerative colitis, including mesalamine, sulfazine, Immunomodulators like azathioprine and 6-mercaptopurine, and steroids. Remicade is used to treat those who don't respond to any other treatment.
Surgery is used to remove the portion of the colon involved with ulcerative colitis. Sometimes the entire colon is removed due to the high risk of getting colon cancer. Surgery is done on those people who do not respond to the taking of medications for ulcerative colitis, instances where there are already precancerous changes within the lining of the colon and those who have suffered the serious complication of a ruptured colon or perforation of the colon, severe bleeding of the colon lining or a condition known as toxic megacolon. Toxic megacolon is an enlarged, sick colon that doesn't function properly.
Almost all of the time, the colon is removed in its entirety because the disease affects the whole colon and the need for cancer prevention dictates that the entire colon be removed. The patient then gets an ileostomy bag that sends stool to a bag on the front of the abdomen. You can also attach the small intestines to the anus for a more normal situation. The procedures are called a total proctocolectomy with ileostomy or a total proctocolectomy and ileal-anal pouch.
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Medical Negligence Solicitors
Our personal injury solicitors operate a specialist medical negligence compensation service. Our Ulcerative Colitis solicitors deal with claims using a no win no fee arrangement which means that if you donít win then you donít pay them their professional costs. If you would like legal advice at no cost with no further obligation just complete the contact form or email our lawyers offices or use the helpline and an Ulcerative Colitis solicitor will review your medical negligence compensation claim and phone you immediately.