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Ulcerative Colitis

Also called: Colitis, Distal colitis, Pancolitis, Ulcerative proctitis

Summary

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a disease that causes inflammation and sores, called ulcers, in the lining of the rectum and colon. It is one of a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease.

UC can happen at any age, but it usually starts between the ages of 15 and 30. It tends to run in families. The most common symptoms are pain in the abdomen and blood or pus in diarrhea. Other symptoms may include

  • Anemia
  • Severe tiredness
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Sores on the skin
  • Joint pain
  • Growth failure in children

About half of people with UC have mild symptoms.

Doctors use blood tests, stool tests, colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy, and imaging tests to diagnose UC. Several types of drugs can help control it. Some people have long periods of remission, when they are free of symptoms. In severe cases, doctors must remove the colon.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Start Here

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

Diagnosis and Tests

  • Bacteria Culture Test From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
  • (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
  • Colonoscopy: FreeFacebookCredits2012 Health Topic From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in
  • (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)

Treatments and Therapies

  • (Consumers Union of U.S.)
  • Colostomy - slideshow (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • Large bowel resection - slideshow (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • (UpToDate)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)

Living With

  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition) - PDF
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)

Related Issues

  • (American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • (Spondylitis Association of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)

Specifics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)

Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Health Check Tools

  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)

Statistics and Research

  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • (American College of Gastroenterology)
  • From the National Institutes of Health

Children

  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)

Teenagers

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)

Women

  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health) Also in
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)

Adults

  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)

Patient Handouts

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