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What is Ulcerative Colitis?

An inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in which inflammation causes damage to the large intestine - the colon and rectum. It is a chronic disease without medical cure at the present time.

Types of Ulcerative Colitis

  • Ulcerative Proctitis
  • Proctosigmoiditis
  • Left-sided Colitis
  • Pan-ulcerative Colitis

Symptoms

  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in the stool
  • Abdominal Cramping
  • False alarms of the rectum
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Mouth sores
  • Joint pain

Causes

  • Ulcerative colitis is a complex disease with many interacting causes:
  • Genetics – inherited genes that increase the risk of ulcerative colitis
  • Environmental triggers - intestinal infections, diet, stress and use of certain medications
  • Abnormal immune system – glitches in the body's immune system make it react too strongly to the environmental triggers

Making the Diagnosis

  • Stool tests
  • Blood tests
  • Colonoscopy with biopsies