Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

Transition of Care: Ulcerative Colitis

What Does It Mean to Transition Health Care?

As teens with ulcerative colitis become adults, the health care provider who oversees their care will switch from a pediatric gastroenterologist to an adult provider. Planning for this transition can help teens take on more responsibility for managing their inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

When Should Teens With Ulcerative Colitis Transition Health Care? 

It depends on the person, but most teens with ulcerative colitis (UC) should transition to an adult health care provider when they're between 18 and 21 years old. Many young adults are going to college or moving away from home at this age. It's important for teens to learn how to take care of themselves and make independent decisions about their health.

How Can Teens With UC Prepare to Transition Health Care?

Starting as early as 12 years old, teens with ulcerative colitis can start to take charge of their health. Parents can supervise, then give more responsibilities as their child gets older.

To help prepare for this transition, teens should know:

  • about ulcerative colitis
  • when to get care
  • the names of all medicines, their dosages and when to take them, common side effects, and interactions with other medicines
  • if they have allergies to food or medicine
  • the answers to most questions about their health and medical history
  • how to:
    • schedule appointments
    • order refills
    • contact the care team
    • manage medical tasks outside of home
  • the consequences of not following the treatment plan
  • about insurance coverage and to always carry their insurance information with them

What Should Teens Do Before Going to College or Living on Their Own?

Before moving away from home, teens with ulcerative colitis should:

  • Have copies of their medical records, including medicines, allergies, immunizations, testing, and the gastroenterologist's name and phone number.
  • Find a gastroenterologist close to where they're living and coordinate with the doctor at home.

Teens going to college should:

  • Contact student health services to coordinate care with their gastroenterologist.
  • Contact the school's Office of Disability Services and talk to professors about accommodations and academic plans in case of illness.

Teens who start a job should:

  • Tell their employer how ulcerative colitis might affect work.

How Can We Find a Doctor Who Specializes in Ulcerative Colitis?

To find a doctor who specializes in caring for people with ulcerative colitis:

  • Ask your current health care provider for a list of gastroenterologists.
  • Contact student health services at the college for referral to local gastroenterologists.
  • Contact your local chapter of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation or visit their website.

Reviewed by: J. Fernando del Rosario, MD
Date Reviewed: Sep 10, 2021

Lea este articulo en Español

What next?

By using this site, you consent to our use of cookies. To learn more, read our privacy policy.

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.