Ulcerative Colitis (UC)

Posted Thursday, January 14, 2016

Did You Know? Ulcerative colitis can be cured with surgery 

Ulcerative Colitis Is One of the Most Common Types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) 

Most Patients with Ulcerative Colitis Are Diagnosed Before the Age of Thirty

Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is very similar to Crohn’s Disease. However, Crohn’s Disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, from an individual’s mouth down to the rectum; whereas UC only affects a specific portion of the GI area. It is important to understand both diseases as they are the two most common types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).  

This guide is intended to help inform patients on the following four topics that include what UC is, the signs and symptoms, causes and how UC is diagnosed.   

01 | What is Ulcerative Colitis?   

UC is a disease that affects the large intestine, specifically the colon and the rectum. UC causes ulcers, sores and swelling within its lining of the large intestine.  

02 | Signs & Symptoms  

The effects of UC are treated on a case-by-case basis. Symptoms which cause discomfort can appear to come and go and may include:

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Cramping
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in stool
  • Loose bowel movements
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent and unexpected bowel movements 

More severe symptoms can include:

  • Joint pain
  • Liver disease

03 | Causes

The causes of UC are continuously being studied as it is unknown how or why an individual develops UC. These studies have also shown that the following could contribute to UC:  

  • Dietary
  • Breastfeeding
  • Autoimmune disease 
  • Genetics

04 | Diagnosis

UC affects each patient differently. There are ways to determine if UC is the cause of gastrointestinal problems; diagnostic testing can include:

  • Colonoscopy
  • Blood work
  • X-rays
  • Stool culture

Speak to your medical provider for additional insight on ways to prevent, understand or manage UC.  

For additional resources and information on Ulcerative Colitis, visit: www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/ulcerative-colitis/ulcerative-colitis-topic-overview

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