Characterized by inflammation and ulceration of the innermost lining of the colon, UC symptoms can often include unwanted weight loss, severe sometimes uncontrollable bloody diarrhea, fatigue and frequent abdominal pain. For some patients, symptoms may lead to surgical removal of the colon or to secondary complications such as colorectal cancer. Moreover, according to those surveyed, 40 percent of UC patients experience incapacitating symptoms at least 180 days per year and have spent an average of 22 days in the hospital over the past five years. Nevertheless, nearly half of those people surveyed believe the seriousness of UC and its impact on their lives is underestimated and misunderstood by friends, family members and employers.
"The severity of symptoms, some of which may require hospitalization or surgery, the stress of financial and occupational concerns, as well as strained social and family relationships highlight the debilitating nature of this disease," said Mark Goldman, Chairperson of the Board, Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). "The effects of UC are indeed far-reaching."
The impact of UC on patients' lives, including work, family and social activities, is extensive. Respondents indicated that in the workplace, UC limited their ability to plan their work schedule, and almost 28 percent reported that they avoided taking a job or work promotion due to UC-related symptoms. Furthermore, more than 40 percent of men and women surveyed avoided intimate situations with a spouse or partner because of their dise
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