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Please clear my doubts on ulcerative colitis.

Q: Since last 15 years I am having bowel problem in the form of frequent (5-6) loose motions with occasional irregular bleeding. Off and on I have been taking a course of Satrogyl which had only a slight effect on my condition. Three years back, due to acute pain during motions, I consulted a doctor who said I was suffering from fissure for which I underwent a surgery and for almost 2 years I was O.K. (more or less with loose stools). But since last 1 year I have started losing weight (lost 9kg) and have constant loose motions with bleeding. A procto-sigmoidoscopy was done and biopsy showed Ulcerative colitis. I have been advised following drugs: Mesacol 2X3, Falinal 1X2, Entofoam (twice); Librax 1X2 (before food) and Celcal M - My questions are: I find from the literature supplied by Entofoam that it is a Cortison and it effects so many things in body apart from loss of hair (about which I am deeply concerned). Please explain the side effects and if I have to take it always what will happen? Please advise if there is any way of getting rid of this disease? Do I have to take medicines always? Can I have non-veg foods cooked at home? If yes, what will be best for me i.e. mutton, chicken or fish? What exact precautions should I take regarding diet. Kindly give me an ideal diet chart. Can this colitis lead to cancer? What is the causes of colitis? Lastly, can my life become normal again?

A:You mention that you have been diagnosed to have ulcerative colitis. If this correct, you should be under the care of a specialist - a gastroenterologist since this is a lifelong illness. The answers to your specific questions are as follows: 1. Cortisone has several side effects, too numerous to mention in this letter. However, when given in form of an enema, the side effects are minimal. 2. This is a lifelong illness. It can be suppressed very effectively but cannot be cured. 3. Do I have to medicines always: Yes 4. Can I have non-veg foods cooked at home? There are no dietary restrictions. You can eat and drink what you like according to your taste and toleration. 5. Ulcerative colitis can lead to cancer. Therefore, you need to be under the care of a gastroenterologist. Most people lead a normal life as long as they take the treatment under the guidance of a specialist.

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