Ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition which causes inflammation of the rectum and colon (bowel). Around one in every 420 people in the UK is affected by the condition, which is most often diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 25. Ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune condition, which causes the body’s immune system to attack healthy tissues. It is thought that the immune system mistakes good bacteria in the colon as a threat and attacks, causing inflammation. The condition can cause small ulcers to develop in the lining of the colon.
Symptoms can include tummy pain, needing to empty your bowels frequently and recurring diarrhoea which may contain mucus, pus or blood. Whilst some people have severe symptoms which impact on their daily life, others have periods of remission followed by flare-ups. Changes to diet can help as can managing stress levels.
If you have any symptoms of ulcerative colitis, you should see your GP who will usually carry out stool samples or blood tests; you may also be referred to hospital for further tests. Failure to diagnose ulcerative colitis may mean a delay in receiving treatment, which focuses on relieving flare-ups and preventing symptoms from recurring, using medication such as corticosteroids and aminosalicylates (ASAs). Those who don’t respond well to medication may need surgery to remove the colon. Failure to diagnose ulcerative colitis could mean you may be at risk of complications such as osteoporosis and toxic megacolon, which causes a drop in blood pressure and is potentially life-threatening.
Are you suffering from ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis can be a painful condition, with symptoms affecting your ability to work and quality of life. If your doctor has failed to diagnose ulcerative colitis, you could be left suffering and unaware of the treatment options available to you. You may even develop complications such as toxic megacolon. Failure to diagnose any condition may be classed as medical negligence, so if you want to find out whether you could be eligible to claim compensation, contacting a personal injury lawyer within three years of your failed diagnosis is the next step.
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Date Published: August 14, 2014
Author: David Brown