Skip navigation
   Other Topics: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W XYZ All Topics

Ulcerative Colitis

Also called: Colitis, Distal colitis, Pancolitis, Ulcerative proctitis 
 
 

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a disease that causes inflammation and sores, called ulcers, in the lining of the rectum and colon. It is one of a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease.

UC can happen at any age, but it usually starts between the ages of 15 and 30. It tends to run in families. The most common symptoms are pain in the abdomen and blood or pus in diarrhea. Other symptoms may include

  • Anemia
  • Severe tiredness
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Sores on the skin
  • Joint pain
  • Growth failure in children

About half of people with UC have mild symptoms.

Doctors use blood tests, stool tests, colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy, and imaging tests to diagnose UC. Several types of drugs can help control it. Some people have long periods of remission, when they are free of symptoms. In severe cases, doctors must remove the colon.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

 

 

 
 
Basics Learn More Multimedia & Cool Tools
 
Research Reference Shelf For You

 

 

Illustration of the large intestine

National Institutes of Health

Languages

 

  • MedlinePlus links to health information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies. MedlinePlus also links to health information from non-government Web sites. See our disclaimer about external links and our quality guidelines.

 

 

 

Ulcerative Colitis - Multiple Languages

MedlinePlus links to health information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies. MedlinePlus also links to health information from non-government Web sites. See our disclaimer about external links and our quality guidelines.