Zoloft & Pancolitis
Pancolitis is a severe type of ulcerative colitis. "Pan" refers to the fact that the disease affects the entire colon. The symptoms associated with this illness can vary depending on the severity of inflammation. Patients usually experience diarrhea, rectal bleeding, stomach pain, and unexplained weight loss. The cause of the disease is unknown but certain drugs used to treat acne have been suspected of increasing the risk for this condition.
What is Pancolitis?
Ulcerative colitis involves the inflammation of the large intestine. This form of inflammatory bowel disease is often classified according to its location. The main types of ulcerative colitis are proctosigmoiditis, ulcerative proctitis, left-sided colitis, pancolitis and fulminant colitis. Pancolitis affects the whole colon of the individual who is suffering from the disease. Its symptoms are similar to those of ulcerative colitis, but more severe.
What Causes Pancolitis?
The cause of the disease is not known. There are, however, several risk factors that may trigger pancolitis. Stress is not the main cause, but it can worsen the disease once it is already present. Recent studies have shown that pancolitis can be caused by a virus or bacterium. When your immune system tries to fight off the pathogen, the digestive tract becomes inflamed. The inflammation may also result from an autoimmune reaction. In addition certain medications, such as the acne drug Accutane appear to put patients at a higher risk for developing serious digestive tract disorders, including pancolitis.
Scientists have found that many people with ulcerative colitis have a family history of inflammatory bowel disorders. Pancolitis usually occurs in adults between the ages of 30 and 50. First degree relatives of patients with inflammatory bowel disorders face a higher risk to develop ulcerative colitis. Another study suggests that populations that bred closely within their communities for many generations are more likely to develop this disease than other groups. However, pancolitis is not a strictly genetic disease. Only 10 percent to 15 percent of individuals who have relatives with Crohn's disease or other inflammatory bowel disorders develop ulcerative colitis.
Individuals diagnosed with pancolitis present lesions in the crypts of Lieberkuhn. This is the characteristic sign of the disease. Pancolitis patients have almost the same symptoms as those diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. They may experience intermittent rectal bleeding, night sweats, abdominal pain, fatigue, weight loss, fever, bouts of bloody diarrhea, stomach cramping, constipation and tenesmus.
Patients often present extracolonic manifestations such as pyoderma gangrenosum, iritis, episcleritis and sacroilitis. Pancolitis may also cause loss of appetite, tiredness, mouth ulcers, incontinence and skin rashes. Most patients experience long remissions. If left untreated, this disease can result in colon cancer.
The symptoms associated with pancolitis are similar to those triggered by colon cancer, diverticulitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. In order to confirm a diagnosis, your doctor will perform a number of tests such as a barium enema, a colonoscopy, a fecal occult blood test (FOBT), a computerized tomography (CT), a small bowel imaging or a capsule endoscopy. Diagnosis is based on the patient's medical history and physical examination.
Need More Help
If you have taken Accutane or a generic version of that drug and have been diagnosed with Pancolitis contact us for information on whether or not you are entitled to recover damages for the injury.