Why do we develop ulcerative colitis UC?
Why do we develop ulcerative colitis (UC)?
Ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune disease. It causes inflammation in the inner lining of your colon. This leads to swelling and ulcer formation in the colon.
Our immune system is to defend our body from infections, illnesses, and things that don’t belong in your body. But in an autoimmune disease like ulcerative colitis, it mistakenly attacks your own body.
It sends in your white blood cells, which attack your intestinal lining. That leads to ongoing inflammation.
The exact etiology of UC is not clear but it may have multifactorial etiology -
You might have inherited a gene that causes ulcerative colitis. It could run in the family. Experts have found certain abnormal genes in some people who have it.
An infection might have triggered your immune system, but then for some reason, it doesn’t turn off. That leads to the colon inflammation that causes symptoms of ulcerative colitis.
A a viral infection in your environment, might raise your chances of developing ulcerative colitis.
If you use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, or birth control pills, your chances to develop it may increase slightly. It’s possible a high-fat diet is related to it, too.
A few other things could be related to the cause or might trigger a flare-up:
- Emotional distress
- Some kinds of food
- Who’s At Risk?
- Anyone can get ulcerative colitis. But an older man, is more likely to get it than an older woman. And even though it can strike at any age, it usually begins before you’re 30 or after 60.
- If someone in your family has ulcerative colitis, you’re more likely to get it, too. But only 20% of people with the disease also have a close relative with it.
- If you’re white and of European descent or if you’re Jewish, you’re also more likely to get the condition.
Dr. Rakesh Rai, MS, FRCS, MD, CCT, MF, ASTS fellow.