Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the colonic mucosa characterized by small ulcerations and bloody diarrhea. The most common area affected is the sigmoid colon and rectum but it can affect the entire colon. Except for a minority of cases which affect the lower part of the ileum, the small intestine is rarely involved.
The cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown. Current theories implicate an immune response to a virus or to a native protein (autoimmune disease). Like Crohn's disease (CD), ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), however unlike CD which penetratess the entire intestinal wall, UC generally stays limited to the mucosa, epithelium and lamina propia. Ulcerative colitis is not caused by infection, food sensitivities, emotional factors, or physical activities although these may triggers symptoms in some individuals.
Ulcerative colitis occurs equally in men and women most frequently at ages 15-35, but there's another smaller peak incidence at age 55-70. It is unclear whether there is a familial pattern of inheritance.
Bloody diarrhea of varying duration and amount is the overt symptom (vyakti) of ulcerative colitis which brings most patients to the doctor. However preceding this presentation a careful medical history usually reveals an insidious and unrecognized progression of the condition months or years before a disease entity is recognized.
Many people report a variety of interspersed "pre"-symptoms (purvarupas) which include: periods of urgency to defecate, very mild intermittent abdominal cramps, mucous in the stools, unexplained fatigue, dullness of the complexion, nervousness, mild vertigo, intolerance, unpleasant body odor, weight loss, occasional brief but sharp rectal pain, dark yellow urine, premature ejaculation, low sperm count, longer duration of menstruation, and a sensation of fullness in the lower abdomen. It would be difficult for a physician operating within the conventional allopathic paradigm to connect these preliminary symptoms to the beginning of ulcerative colitis, but very much possible for the Ayurvedic physician aware of the concepts of samprapti and sat kriyakala.
Usually these purvarupas are ignored or treated (i.e. suppressed) symptomatically, but the report of bloody diarrhea triggers a sigmoid- or colonoscopy and biopsy (chronic inflammation, crypt atophy) which confirms the diagnosis. Blood tests (looking for anemia, elevated WBC counts, CRP, and ESR) and barium enemas (outlining ulcerated areas) are also sometimes performed.
The physician of Ayusya herbal clinic approaching this disease through combination of ayurvedic oral medication and vasti karma according requirement .