Ulcerative Colitis - Causes






No one knows for sure what causes inflammatory bowel disease. A number of theories have been developed to explain the condition. Some researchers believe that the disorder is caused by some organism, such as a bacterium or virus. No such organism has been found, however. Other researchers think the body's immune system becomes confused and begins to attack the body's own cells as though they were foreign invaders that needed to be killed.

Colonoscopy:
A procedure in which a long, thin tube is inserted through a patient's rectum into the colon to permit examination of the inner walls of the colon.
Crohn's disease:
A form of inflammatory bowel disease that affects the large and small intestine.
Inflammation:
A series of events that may result from the immune system's attempt to fight off foreign invaders. Inflammation involves heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function in the part of the body that is affected.
Inflammatory bowel disease:
A group of disorders that affect the gastrointestinal (digestive) system.
Intestinal perforation:
A hole in the lining of the intestine, which allows partially digested foods to leak into the abdominal cavity.
Sulfasalazine:
A drug commonly used to treat inflammatory bowel diseases, consisting of an aspirin-like part to reduce inflammation and an antibiotic part to fight bacteria.
Toxic dilation of the colon:
An expansion of the colon that may be caused by inflammation due to ulcerative colitis.
Ulcer:
An open sore.

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