Ulcerative colitis is a chronic, meaning not curable, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) affecting only large intestine (considered the colon and rectum). The disease causes inflammation and ulceration of the lining of the large intestine. This inflammation can cause tiny open sores to form on the surface of the lining which damages the tissue.
The cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown, but research has pointed to UC as an autoimmune disorder. This means that the patients own immune system attacks the healthy tissue and causes the inflammation. This disease can affect anyone, but those between the ages of 15-30 or 50-70 have a higher risk. UC can have serious consequences and patients should maintain regular visits with a gastroenterologist, follow treatment plans carefully, and report any changes quickly.
- Bloody stool
- Abdominal pain
There are new treatments for Ulcerative Colitis including medications, infusion therapy, and lifestyle changes. Each patient's treatment is specific to their individual case. If you are experiencing symptoms, it is important to see a gastroenterologist as soon as possible. Additionally, patients with IBD should be aware of their need for earlier, and more frequent, colon cancer screening due to increased risk. Make an appointment and talk to an AGA doctor about your symptoms and questions.