Digestive problems may affect body mass, say experts, and some conditions may indicate why you’re losing weight. Ulcerative colitis is one of the conditions that can cause an unexplained decrease in weight, so we should not overlook this symptom.
Here are some factors that can be a cause of weight loss:
Diabetes – It is one of the most common causes of involuntary weight loss, experts say. The most common is type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, the hormone that regulates the amount of sugar in the blood.
Celiac disease – The body cannot digest gluten, a protein found in many cereals: wheat, barley and rye. When people who have been diagnosed with celiac disease eat gluten foods, their immune system responds by attacking intestinal villi, small formations in the intestinal wall, where nutrient uptake occurs. In addition to involuntary weight loss, celiac disease also has other symptoms: abdominal pain, constipation, chronic diarrhea, vomiting, etc.
Crohn’s Disease – It is one of the inflammatory bowel diseases. Experts say that, in fact, the exact cause of this disease is not known, but it is believed that heredity and immune system abnormalities are involved. In addition to losing weight, other symptoms appear: diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramps, blood stains.
Peptic ulcer – It is a lesion or wound in the stomach, in the upper intestine or in the esophagus. Peptic ulcer is caused by bacterial infections or certain medications, and the manifestations can be numerous: abdominal pain that worsens at night or when the stomach is empty, vomiting with blood or stool with blood.
Losing weight in excess can also be linked with inflammatory bowel disease
Unexplained weight loss can be a symptom of inflammatory bowel disease, experts say. This is a term that includes several chronic inflammatory disorders of the digestive tract, and two of the most common such diseases are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Chronic inflammation from these diseases puts the body in a catabolic state, which means that it constantly uses the energy stored in fats. Unfortunately, inflammatory bowel diseases, including ulcerative colitis, disrupt the functioning of two hormones: ghrelin, hunger hormone, and leptin, the satiety hormone. This disorder results in decreased appetite and weight loss.
Other symptoms that may occur in inflammatory bowel disease are:
- Stomach pain
However, when talking about ulcerative colitis, we must keep in mind that patients with this disease may have periods with milder symptoms or periods when they have no symptoms at all. These are called remission. When the symptoms recur – a situation in which they can be very severe – we talk about a set of disease activity.
How is ulcerative colitis manifested?
The symptoms most often seen in patients with ulcerative colitis are:
- Abdominal pain
- Increased abdominal sounds
- Rectal pain
- Weight loss
Experts point out that two forms of ulcerative colitis – ulcerative colitis on the left side of the colon and pancolitis – can lead to significant weight loss. In the case of the disease that affects the left side of the colon, involuntary weight loss may be accompanied by the following symptoms: diarrhea with blood, abdominal cramps and pain on the left side.