Is there a difference which side your colitis is on?

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 1/21/2008 2:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I hear people say that they a left sided uc and was wondering what the difference is.

12 Salofalk per day
3 Imuran per day

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 1/21/2008 3:40 PM (GMT -6)   
cabdrivr, UC generally starts in the rectum and when it's only there it's called proctitis. If it extends up into the S-curve, the sigmoid colon, it is called proctosigmoiditis. Left-sided UC involves the rectum, the sigmoid and the colon up to the splenic flexure, where the colon turns right across the abdomen. Pancolitis involves the entire colon. As far as symptoms, people with pancolitis tend to have more diarrhea and weight loss because the colon can't absorb the fluid back out of the stool. People with proctosigmoiditis tend to have somewhat more solid stools.

The location of the UC doesn't predict how often it will flare or how difficult it will be to get into remission. Proctitis can be just as stubborn as pancolitis.

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 UC Forum Moderator
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Asacol, Rowasa, Pentasa, Prednisone, Entocort, Azathioprine
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri.
In remission since April, 2006. Remicade has been my wonder drug.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 1/21/2008 4:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Judy has it right.

There is also a description in the Ulcerative Colitis Resources sticky thread:
Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 75mg, Aciphex, Effexor XR, Forvia and a Probiotic
Osteopenia (hip and spine) from prednisone use.  Started Azathioprine because I was steroid dependent.
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 1/21/2008 7:55 PM (GMT -6)   
In other words, left-sided is less severe than pancolitis. There's no such thing as UC starting on the right side, as far as I know. If you have inflammation in isolation on the right side, you'd probably be looking at Crohn's colitis as Crohn's can strike any where and can appear in isolated patches. UC starts at the rectum and works its way up and around in a solid spread of inflammation.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999
Therapeutic dose sulfasalazine.
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice and Mucosaheal.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 1/21/2008 8:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I know Judylin said "tend to" but I just wanted to say that I only have UC in my rectum and sometimes have lots and lots of D.  My colon looked good with no ulcers last colonoscopy but rectum was bad, and I was having constant D so much I was so weak and went to the hospital 2 weeks later.  It took me about a month for it to slow down.  That is my wacko case.  I think sometimes you just never know with this disease.

Diagnosed with Left-sided Ulcerative Colitis 1995 at 15
Tried: Prednisone, Rowasa & Hydrocortisone Enemas, Proctofoam, Sulfasalazine, Asacol, Probiotics, Fish Oil, Canasa, Enotcort, Colazol, Proctocort, Anamantle, etc...
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Proctitis with almost rectovaginal fistula in 2004, put on Remicade, August 2007:Increased Remicade dosage-700mg every 6 weeks,diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis & Fibromyalgia Current meds: Remicade 700mgs every 6 wks (had reaction, will start Humira Jan 29) Clorazepate, Proctofoam HC, Glucosamine 500, Vitamin B, Lomotil as needed, Darvocet, Tylenol pm

UC Fighter
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 1/21/2008 8:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Another difference is in treatments. The mesalamine enemas are affective in the left side of the colon, but not the right since they can't "back track" that far to help.
Status: Flare up as of 01/03/08
Rx: 60 MG Prednisone, 800mg Sulfasalazine, 40ml Rowasa Enema nightly
Also: Probiotic 3-4x per day, Fish Oil occasionally

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 31004
   Posted 1/22/2008 1:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Inflammation higher in the rectum and above will cause diarrhea. A classic symptom of proctosigmoiditis is diarrhea, but remember that there are different degrees of inflammation.

princesscolon...if you were diagnosed with UC in the rectum only, you wouldn't have left-sided UC....or is it that your original diagnosis was extended past the sigmoid to the splenic flexure and your inflammaiton now is just in the rectum?

*Heather*Status: mini flare Dec 28... increased enemas to nightly
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol (6 daily) + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~Probiotic 3(Natural Factors Protec) bedtime + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) occasionally
~multi-digestive enzymes as needed ....bromelain 1 - 2x daily
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

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