Ulcerative colitis (UL-sur-uh-tiv koh-LY-tis) is an inflammatory disease of
the large intestine, or colon. It causes the inner lining of the intestine
to become irritated and swollen and develop ulcers.
More to Know
Doctors aren't sure of the exact cause of UC, but many factors are thought
to be involved, including diet, genetics,
the immune system, and environmental factors. If the lining of the colon and rectum
become inflamed and develop ulcers, a person can have abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea,
mucus in the stool (poop), and other symptoms.
The loss of fluid and nutrients from diarrhea and chronic inflammation of the bowel
can cause weight loss, dehydration, and malnutrition. If untreated, ulcerative colitis
can lead to more severe complications and may increase the risk of colorectal cancer
Keep in Mind
Medications or sometimes surgery can help control symptoms associated with UC and
may offer long-term relief. Great progress is being made in the development of treatments
for UC. By sticking to a treatment program and leading a healthy lifestyle, most people
with ulcerative colitis can enjoy a productive, normal life.
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