May also be called: UC
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.
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 over time.
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.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|American Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.|
|North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) NASPGHAN works to help children and adolescents with digestive disorders.|
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|Stomachaches Lots of different problems can cause similar kinds of stomach pain - not all of them related to the digestive system. Here are some clues about what could be going on.|
|Inflammatory Bowel Disease Just like other organs in your body, the intestines can develop problems or diseases. Inflammatory bowel disease is an ongoing illness caused by an inflammation of the intestines.|
|Irritable Bowel Syndrome Having irritable bowel syndrome can make a kid feel awful. The good news is that kids can take steps to feel better.|
|Irritable Bowel Syndrome For some people stomachaches and diarrhea are a regular occurrence. Read this article for information on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common intestinal disorder that affects the colon.|
|Digestive System Most people think digestion begins when you first put food in your mouth. But the digestive process actually starts even before the food hits your taste buds.|
|Your Digestive System The digestive system breaks down the food you eat. Learn how in this article for kids.|
|Digestive System The digestive process starts even before the first bite of food. Find out more about the digestive system and how our bodies break down and absorb the food we eat.|
|Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common intestinal disorder that can cause cramps, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Certain foods can trigger symptoms, as can emotional stress, infections, and physical trauma.|
|Inflammatory Bowel Disease Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to two chronic diseases that cause intestinal inflammation: ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Although they have features in common, there are some important differences.|
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