I was googling something earlier and typed in ‘is ulcerative colitis’ and these were google’s suggestions of what I may be searching. I was truly shocked at the first one. Is Ulcerative Colitis contagious?
It saddened me to think that this is what people are thinking about people with IBD, that they are concerned that they could catch this from us. It shows to me that although awareness is improving massively, that there is still a lot of work to do.
For the record, Ulcerative Colitis and Crohns Disease are NOT CONTAGIOUS, you can’t catch this from being near to someone who has these diseases.
“Ulcerative Colitis is a condition that causes inflammation and ulceration of the inner lining of the rectum and colon (the large bowel). In UC, tiny ulcers develop on the surface of the lining and these may bleed and produce pus.
The inflammation usually begins in the rectum and lower colon, but it may affect the entire colon. If UC only affects the rectum, it is called proctitis, while if it affects the whole colon it may be called total colitis or pancolitis.
It’s one of the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The other is Crohn’s Disease.
Ulcerative Colitis is a chronic condition. This means that it is ongoing and life-long, although you may have periods of good health (remission), as well as times when symptoms are more active (relapses or flare-ups).” – Crohns and Colitis UK
There is still a huge taboo around bowel disorders, people are embarrassed to talk about any disease or symptoms that are about poo. This is something I fight against all the time and what formed my hashtag #StopPooBeingTaboo.
Yes, it can be embarrassing but I always think that poo is the great leveller, it is something that every single person on the planet does in one way or another. I do it in a bag, but that shouldn’t be a reason for me to be ashamed.
Your poo is a wonderful indicator of health and should be something that you notice. Changes in bowel habits, losing blood or mucus, loss of continence or drastic change in your poo can show that you have health issues. Seeing blood and having diarrhoea can be a sign of cancer, but it can also be all manner of health problems from the very minor to something more worrying. If you’ve had any of these things for a few weeks, you should absolutely see your GP. A lot of us ignore these signs because of embarrassment, but your doctor has seen more butts than you can imagine and will not be freaked out, I promise you!
The other suggestions from google were asking if UC is curable and deadly. The answers are no and sometimes. There is still no known cure, some people say that if you have the colon removed then you no longer can have Ulcerative Colitis and it is therefore a cure. I don’t subscribe to this thinking at all as UC is an auto-immune disease and it has effects on the rest of the body too, from issues with the skin and eyes to fatigue. I no longer have a colon, but I still class myself as having UC.
Is it deadly? Well, deadly is an emotive and strong word. Do people die from problems occurring from UC or from issues with surgery, yes, absolutely. I would probably word it as life threatening, it isn’t common, but there are risks to your life from medication, surgeries and symptoms.
It got me thinking about what other questions people may have about Ulcerative Colitis, ostomies or life with IBD. I am always happy to answer any questions, though obviously I am not a doctor and can only give you my opinion. If you are concerned about your own health, please do seek medical advice.