Ulcerative Colitis – Faulty Immune Response Cited as Possible Cause

Based in Torrance, California, Robert M. Webman, MD, is a gastroenterologist with extensive experience in gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopic procedures. One common GI problem that Dr. Robert Webman treats is ulcerative colitis.

Estimated to affect 700,000 Americans, ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease of the colon (large intestine) that typically affects people in their mid-30s and older.

Ulcerative colitis occurs when the colon’s lining becomes inflamed and affected by ulcers, or open sores. The result is cramp-like abdominal discomfort and a colon that empties with increased frequency and urgency. Typical symptoms include diarrhea and bloody stool. In addition, people may experience fatigue and reduced energy, as well as loss of appetite and weight loss. These symptoms are often periodic in nature, and many patients experience periods of months or years with no distress.

Researchers believe that ulcerative colitis is related to the complex interactions between the immune system and bacterial and viral infections affecting the colon. In particular, the immune system mistakes normal bacteria and food in the system as invading substances and generates excess white blood cells that ultimately cause ulceration.

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