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How can ulcerative colitis affect your levels of cholesterol? What you must know

June 29, 2023 – What should Ulcerative colitis Do patients find out about cholesterol management?

It is estimated that 200 out of 100,000 Americans Ulcerative colitis or UC. And that number has doubled within the last 20 years. UC is a inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The disease occurs within the innermost lining of the colon and rectum, causing sores within the digestive tract. UC can alternate between flares and remissions.

Not only do UC patients should cope with treating and managing digestive issues related to their IBD – additionally they have the next risk of heart problems. This risk exists despite the undeniable fact that UC patients are likely to have lower levels of cholesterol than patients who’re “conventionally” at increased risk for heart attacks and strokes.

A latest study by researchers within the Netherlands found that cardiovascular risk aspects in IBD patients could also be underestimated because aspects akin to high levels of cholesterol should not present.

“Patients with IBD have lower levels of total cholesterol, HDL-c and LDL-c compared to the general population,” said the study’s co-author Jasmine Sleutjes, MD, Researchers within the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology on the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam. “This observation is more evident in patients with active disease. It is called the so-called 'lipid paradox' – the inverse correlation between lipid levels and inflammatory markers.”

A recent study by several universities study found that UC patients even have an increased risk of heart failure, although the explanations for this should not yet clear.

The lipid paradox might be a possible reason,” said the study’s co-author Chayakrit Krittanawong, MDa cardiologist with a practice in New York City.

“We need more data on this, especially from prospective clinical trials,” he said.

Lower levels of cholesterol should not directly attributable to UC itself. Rather, the rationale why individuals with UC often don’t high cholesterol has to do with how debilitating the disease might be.

“Patients with active ulcerative colitis may lose weight by restricting their food intake due to their intestinal symptoms, which in turn may lead to lower cholesterol levels,” said David T. Rubin, MDProfessor of Medicine on the University of Chicago and Chairman of the National Scientific Advisory Committee of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation.

It is essential for UC patients to treat inflammatory bowel disease while keeping levels of cholesterol within the healthy range.

What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?

According to the Crohn and Colitis FoundationSigns of ulcerative colitis may include:

  • Urgent bowel movement
  • Soft stool
  • Blood within the stool
  • Stomach cramps or pain within the abdomen
  • Chronic diarrhea

The severity of symptoms of ulcerative colitis can vary from individual to individual. Some people only have mild problems, while for others ulcerative colitis can have a serious impact on the standard of life.

What are the symptoms of heart disease and stroke?

The CDC says The symptoms of heart disease vary depending on the precise condition.

Symptoms of Heart attack These include pain or discomfort within the chest, upper back or neck, in addition to nausea, vomiting, severe tiredness, dizziness or shortness of breath. Heart failure Signs include shortness of breath, extreme tiredness, or swelling of the legs, feet, ankles, abdomen, or neck veins.

Signs of stroke come on suddenly, in accordance with the CDC. They include numbness or weakness within the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body; confusion; difficulty speaking; vision changes in a single or each eyes; difficulty walking or lack of balance or coordination; and severe headache.

If you may have any of those symptoms, seek medical attention immediately

Why are UC patients at higher risk for heart problems?

New Research from the University of California, Riverside, found that IBD patients could have fewer antimicrobial cells that protect the body from E. coli Bacteria. A type of E. coli The so-called adherent-invasive (AIEC) can increase in IBD and worsen inflammation.

Research has previously identified that IBD patients are 3 times more prone to develop blood clots during flare-ups, which may result in a heart attack or stroke. This is attributed to increased inflammation within the body while IBD symptoms are present.

“The increased risk of cardiovascular disease in IBD is most likely related to the patient's chronic inflammatory burden, which also plays a role in the gradual development of atherosclerosis,” said Sleutjes.

What treatment options will help with ulcerative colitis and the way do they affect levels of cholesterol?

Interestingly, UC patients are likely to have lower levels of cholesterol, Statin therapy – Drugs to treat high cholesterol – have shown promise in prevention UC. And a Stanford University study found that statins may reduce the danger of requiring colon surgery by as much as 50% in UC patients. UC patients can also experience fewer symptoms by taking statins since the drugs reduce the gene activity patterns in UC itself.

Two other drugs, tofacitinib and upadacitinib, can also help treat moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. These drugs may very well increase a patient's levels of cholesterol. (Notably, two of the newer therapies used to treat moderate to severe ulcerative colitis affect levels of cholesterol.)

“Cholesterol in about 20 [to] “In 30% of people, it increases by about 10%,” Rubin explained. “But this can be temporary. HDL – the 'good cholesterol' – and LDL – the 'bad cholesterol' – increase at the same time. We don't usually treat this cholesterol change.”

People who’ve symptoms of ulcerative colitis or who’ve been diagnosed should work with their doctor to search out the suitable treatment option. It can also be essential to have regular cholesterol checks, as treatment could cause fluctuations.

“There are no specific guidelines for the treatment of ulcerative colitis that recommend controlling cholesterol levels, but the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that adults know their cholesterol levels because it is known to be associated with atherosclerosis,” Rubin said.

To help relieve the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, discuss your eating regimen together with your doctor, concentrate to your eating regimen, and make certain your levels of cholesterol stay within the healthy range. The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation has Instructions to make it easier so that you can start. You stay in charge of your health – and feel higher.