Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease, which affects the large intestine. It predominantly affects the lining of the large intestine.

Ulcerative colitis starts in the rectal region and may involve the entire colon. Symptoms include rectal bleeding, diarrhea, mucus discharge, and weight loss. The patient may become anemic as a result of the chronic bleeding. Patients may also have arthritis, inflammation of the eyes, involvement of the liver and certain skin conditions. It is diagnosed by a biopsy usually obtained at colonoscopy.

The treatment varies and depends on the severity of the illness. Most patients are treated with medicines both oral and injectable. Surgery is reserved for complications from ulcerative colitis or failure of medical management. The treatment of choice consists of removing the entire colon and rectum and creating a pouch from the small intestine, which is joined to the anal opening thus avoiding a permanent stoma.

Read more about ulcerative colitis at the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons website.

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America website is another source of information.