Definition of "ulcerative colitis."
It is a recurrent disease affecting the mucosal and submucosal layers of the colon and rectum.
The layers become inflamed and swollen, forming abscesses that may result in ulceration.
The disease usually starts in the rectum and spreads upward to the colon.
It can be acute or chronic.
Factors that may increase risk of ulcerative colitis.
Jewish genetic background.
Age (primarily affects ages 15-30).
Irritants such as laxatives or antibiotics.
History of bowel infection.
Signs and symptoms of ulcerative colitis.
Abdominal pain in lower left quadrant.
Loss of appetite.
Nausea and vomiting.
Measures to prevent or control ulcerative colitis.
Learn stress management techniques. (Provide "Relaxation Techniques" handouts.)
Obtain adequate rest, especially after meals.
Obtain adequate nutrition.
Eat a high-calorie, high-protein, low-residue diet, as tolerated. (Provide "Protein in Diet" and "Increased Calories" handouts.)
Avoid milk and milk products if lactose-intolerant.
Avoid bowel irritants such as spicy foods, high-residue foods, or temperature extremes in foods.
Avoid carbonated beverages, caffeine, and alcohol, which may increase intestinal motility.
Eat small, frequent meals.
Take medication as ordered.
Take calcium, mineral, and vitamin supplements as ordered.
Report any flu-like symptoms.
Possible complications of ulcerative colitis.
Cancer of the colon.