TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited a Tokyo hospital on Monday for the second time inside days, fanning additional hypothesis about the state of his health.
Abe suffers from persistent ulcerative colitis and has spoken of scuffling with it since junior highschool. A flare-up in 2007 compelled him to stop as prime minister.
Officials have declined to remark intimately on Abe’s health, saying solely that Monday’s go to was linked to final week’s test, itself a comply with-as much as a bodily examination in June.
Here are particulars of the illness.
WHAT IS IT?
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel illness that may trigger ulcers in the lining of the colon and rectum. Symptoms embrace diarrhoea, stomach cramping, weight loss and fatigue.
The trigger is unknown, however each heredity and immune system malfunctions, by which the immune system assaults cells in the digestive tract, are believed to play a job. Diet and stress can worsen the situation.
Complications might embrace an elevated threat of colon most cancers, clots in blood vessels, and a perforated colon.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?
Ulcerative colitis is incurable. While reasonable to extreme circumstances are handled with corticosteroids, this isn’t an extended-time period therapy as unwanted side effects can embrace bone loss, hypertension and weight acquire.
A kind of treatment known as 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) is the commonplace therapy, together with Asacol, which Abe has mentioned he began taking in 2009, when it was accredited in Japan after having been obtainable abroad.
“If this drug Asacol had taken more time to appear on the market in Japan, it’s quite possible that I would not be where I am today,” Abe mentioned in a 2013 speech.
“For that very reason, I consider it both my role and my fate to restore and enrich the lives of patients suffering from intractable illnesses.”
Side results from the drugs, often known as mesalamine, can embrace nausea, headache or vomiting. Rarely, it may well worsen ulcerative colitis signs.
Other therapies embrace immunosuppressant medicine that require cautious supervision and are often solely used if sufferers do not reply to different therapies.
The most drastic therapy is surgical removing of the colon.
HOW DOES IT AFFECT QUALITY OF LIFE?
If saved beneath management, ulcerative colitis has minimal influence on each day actions between flare-ups, which may be attributable to stress.
Some sufferers have frequent colonoscopies, corresponding to each six months, to test for most cancers. Abe undergoes a complete bodily examination twice a yr.
In 2017, Abe mentioned his therapy was fuelling his urge for food, including, “I now must worry about issues I once thought were completely unrelated to me, including gaining visceral fat, worrying about body fat, and my cholesterol level. I hit the upper limits on tests for each of these issues.”
Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Clarence Fernandez