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Ulcerative Colitis Causes

Causes of Ulcerative Colitis

The precise cause of this terrible affliction is still unknown. Theories about what causes ulcerative colitis abound, but none have been proven. The current studies suggest that there is more than one factor responsible for the development, maintenance and relapse of Ulcerative colitis. The causes may involve but are not limited to, heredity, genetic factors, environmental factors, or disturbances of the immune system.

One of the major underlying causes suggests abnormal activation of the immune system, leading the ulcerations in the intestines. For easy understanding, we will divide these factors into two groups i.e. extrinsic and intrinsic factors.

Extrinsic factors:

01 Diet

Intake of junk food and low-residue high-refined sugar has been correlated in many studies with susceptibility to having ulcerative colitis. In fact many sufferers of ulcerative colitis notice flare-up of the problem following specific food.

02 Infections

Some researchers feel that ulcerative colitis may be related to certain infections affecting the digestive system caused by microorganism E. Coli. One theory holds that modern measles virus, improperly cleared from the body, results in low grade, chronic inflammation of the intestinal lining.

03 Drugs

The studies have also shown links between intake of oral contraceptive pills and Ulcerative colitis. May patients experience a flare-up of the condition following modern medicine drugs like antibiotics and NSAIDs. Isotretinoin, a commonly used drug for severe acne is found to trigger UC and Crohn's disease in some patients.

The important point is although many of us are eating the most-blamed diet or having an infection with E. Coli, every one of us is not having ulcerative colitis. This brings us to the conclusion that there must be some roots within an individual, which makes him more susceptible to these environmental factors.

Intrinsic factors:

01 Disturbance of the immune system

Some experts believe that there may be a defect in one's immune system responsible for ongoing inflammation in the intestinal wall. The disturbance is thought to be either of two.

Allergy: Some studies suggest that Ulcerative colitis is a form of exaggerated allergic response to a certain food or to the presence of some microorganisms present in the intestine.

Autoimmunity: Autoimmunity simply means an allergy to oneself. Most recent research indicates that ulcerative colitis can be a form of autoimmune disease in which the body's defense system starts attacking the body's own organs and tissues. One amongst them being a large intestine.

02 Genetics

Current research suggests that certain genetic factors may increase the likelihood of a person having Ulcerative colitis.

03 Hereditary factors

If any of your immediate family members is having ulcerative colitis, then your chances of having the disease increases.

How stress triggers ulcerative colitis

04 Psychosomatic

Mind plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy or diseased condition of the body. The medical community has accepted the fact that any kind of emotional stress has a definite detrimental effect on the immune system and hence can be the root cause of chronic disease like ulcerative colitis. In fact, it is a very common experience of physicians that many patients mention that their problem of Ulcerative colitis started after some stressful situations in life or their problem got worse following stressful events.

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