Health $ Lifestyle

Warning signs of ulcerative colitis revealed as Louise Thompson details her hospital stint after losing ‘cupfuls of blood’ on holiday

  • The ex Made in Chelsea star spent two weeks in hospital for Ulcerative Colitis
  • The autoimmune condition causes diarrhoea, bleeding, cramps and fatigue

Former Made in Chelsea star Louise Thompson has revealed she was forced to rush home from Antigua after ‘losing cupfuls of blood every 20 minutes’. 

The 33-year-old spent two weeks in hospital being treated for a ulcerative colitis flare up, which she was diagnosed with before the birth of her son in 2021. 

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic bowel condition where the colon and rectum become inflamed and small ulcers develop on the colon’s lining, which can bleed. 

The charity Crohn’s & Colitis UK reports that at least one in every 227 Brits have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. This amounts to around 296,000 people.

Here, MailOnline reveals the warning signs of the autoimmune condition. 

Louise Thompson, 33, was forced to rush home from Antigua after 'losing cupfuls of blood every 20 minutes,' she revealed on Monday

Louise Thompson, 33, was forced to rush home from Antigua after ‘losing cupfuls of blood every 20 minutes,’ she revealed on Monday

The severity of symptoms can vary depending on how much of the rectum and colon is inflamed. For some people, it can have a significant impact on their daily lives, the NHS says

The severity of symptoms can vary depending on how much of the rectum and colon is inflamed. For some people, it can have a significant impact on their daily lives, the NHS says

Diarrhoea

Needing to poo more often or passing looser stools more often is a common symptom of ulcerative colitis.

Some people may find their poo contains mucus or blood and it may also cause cramping and pain when you need to go to the toilet, warns Crohn’s & Colitis UK.

However, the severity of symptoms can vary depending on how much of the rectum and colon is inflamed.

For some people, it can have a significant impact on their daily lives, the NHS adds.

Bleeding from your bottom 

The condition doesn’t just cause blood and mucus to appear in your poo, it can also cause you to bleed from your anus, says Crohn’s & Colitis UK.

This loss of blood can make you feel extremely tired.  

That’s because it can trigger anaemia — a reduced number of red blood cells which means less oxygen is carried around the body. Around one in three colitis patients are thought to have anaemia.

You are more likely to develop anaemia if you are losing a lot of blood or not eating well, the NHS explains. 

The former Made In Chelsea star was admitted to hospital in London late last month following a series of health issues since giving birth to her son Leo, two (pictured in Antigua)

The former Made In Chelsea star was admitted to hospital in London late last month following a series of health issues since giving birth to her son Leo, two (pictured in Antigua) 

The reality star spent five weeks in hospital suffering with 'serious complications' in 2021 . She has contended with a myriad of physical issues since the traumatic birth alongside Ulcerative Colitis, which she was diagnosed with before falling pregnant

The reality star spent five weeks in hospital suffering with ‘serious complications’ in 2021 . She has contended with a myriad of physical issues since the traumatic birth alongside Ulcerative Colitis, which she was diagnosed with before falling pregnant 

Constipation 

Although it is common for people with ulcerative colitis to experience diarrhoea, constipation is also a common symptom. 

The condition can make it harder to pass poo regularly or empty your bowels completely.

It can cause you to strain when you need a poo and it may be hard and dry, adds Crohn’s & Colitis UK.

This is common with proctitis, a form of the condition which causes inflammation in the lining of the rectum.

Extreme tiredness

It’s not just anaemia that can cause you to feel extremely tired.

Ulcerative colitis can also cause you to lose sleep if you keep getting up in the night with diarrhoea or pain.

However, the condition can make you feel generally unwell and even cause problems outside of your digestive system.  

As well as fatigue, it can cause joint pain and swelling, mouth ulcers and skin rashes. 

What is ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is thought to be an autoimmune condition.

That means, the immune system goes wrong and starts to attack healthy tissue. 

The most popular theory is that the immune system mistakes harmless bacteria inside the colon as a threat and attacks the tissues of the colon, causing it to become inflamed.

However, it’s unclear what causes the immune system to behave in this way. 

The UK Crohn’s & Colitis UK charity reports at least 1 in every 227 people in the UK has been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. This amounts to around 296,000 people. 

Although it can develop at any age, it is most often diagnosed in people between 15 and 25 years old. 

It’s more common in white people of European descent, especially those descended from Ashkenazi Jewish communities, and black people.

The condition is rarer in people from Asian backgrounds, although the reasons for this are unclear.

Both men and women seem to be equally affected by ulcerative colitis.

Source: NHS 

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