Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a type of severe, chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which causes:
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The exact cause is unknown. A virus or bacteria may cause the immune system to overreact and damage the colon and rectum.
Having a family member with IBD (includes UC and Crohn's disease) may increase your risk of developing UC.
UC may cause:
Intestinal complications of UC may include:
Other complications of UC may include:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Testing may include:
Treatment options may include:
Your doctor may recommend that you avoid certain foods, such as:
Talk to your doctor or dietitian about what foods may work best for you.
There are a range of medications that may be prescribed, such as:
Surgery involves partial or complete removal of the colon. This may be necessary for:
Surgery for UC is curative and reduces the risk of colon cancer.
There are no current guidelines for preventing UC.
Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America
Gastro—American Gastroenterological Society
The Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada
D'Haens GR, Sartor RB, et al. Future directions in inflammatory bowel disease management. 2014;8(8):726-734.
Richman S, Schub T. Ulcerative colitis. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/nursing-reference-center. Updated August 2012. Accessed September 30, 2014.
Ulcerative colitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 19, 2014. Accessed September 30, 2014.
Wedlake L, Slack N, et al. Fiber in the treatment and maintenance of inflammatory bowel disease: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2014;20(3):576-586.
What is ulcerative colitis? Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America website. Available at: www.ccfa.org/what-are-crohns-and-colitis/what-is-ulcerative-colitis. Accessed September 30, 2014.
Last reviewed August 2014 by Daus Mahnke, MDLast Updated: 7/23/2014