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The Major Link between Ulcerative Colitis and Joint Pain

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Ulcerative Colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that often results in causing pain and swelling in the joints. Around twenty-five percent of people who suffer from inflammatory bowel conditions have symptoms of arthritis, according to the studies conducted by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

Ulcerative Colitis causes pain which might be different from the type of pain that is caused due to arthritis without inflammatory bowel disease. Due to the same reason, the method for treating it also differs.

Connection between Ulcerative Colitis and Joint Pain

Although the most common symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis such as diarrhoea, bloody stool, bloating, etc. are gastrointestinal, this condition can also affect the other parts like the major joints of the body. Joint pain is one of the major symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis that is unrelated to the intestines and stomach.

Mostly, there are two forms of joint pain that affect people with Ulcerative Colitis – Arthralgia – which is just joint pain, and Arthritis – which is a term that covers many symptoms including joint pain, redness, inflammation, and swelling.

People who suffer from Ulcerative Colitis mostly experience arthritis differently than the ones who are diagnosed with arthritis and no inflammatory bowel disease. They might have the chance of developing this condition at a younger age but would not have long-term damage in the joints.

Joint pain usually occurs with an Ulcerative Colitis flare and disappears during the periods of remission when other symptoms are controlled.

Arthritis in People having Ulcerative Colitis

Though several types of arthritis affect people who suffer from Ulcerative Colitis, peripheral arthritis is the most common among them. It mostly affects many parts of the body like arms, legs, wrists, ankles, elbows, and knees. The pain caused might move from joint to joint, and the level of inflammation caused in the joint is mainly related to the extent of inflammation that takes place in the colon. The symptoms of this type of arthritis are seen to disappear without causing any long-term damage when the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis are controlled.

Treatment and Management of Ulcerative Colitis

People who are diagnosed with peripheral arthritis without Ulcerative Colitis mostly use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin to control pain. But, as these medicines can result in causing further inflammation to the intestine, it is not mostly recommended by doctors. Biological drugs, steroids, anti-rheumatic drugs, and immune-suppressing drugs are some of the other alternative medications used in its treatment.

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