Ulcerative colitis is a disease that causes inflammation and ulcers in the lining of the colon and rectum. The ulcers bleed and can make pus. The inflammation can cause diarrhea. It can occur at any age but usually starts between the ages of 15 and 30.
• Bloody diarrhea
• Severe abdominal cramps
About ½ of the people with ulcerative colitis have mild symptoms.
Both men and women can get ulcerative colitis and appears to run in families.
People with ulcerative colitis have problems with their immune system. The immune system reacts abnormally to the bacteria in the digestive tract.
• A physical exam and medical history
• Blood tests
• Stool samples
• X rays or CT scan
Treatment is adjusted for each person. It depends on the severity of the disease.
• Drugs to reduce inflammation
• Drugs to relieve pain, diarrhea or infection
• Some people have remissions or times when the symptoms go away.
• Sometimes the symptoms are severe enough that the person will be admitted to the hospital.
• Surgery is done to have the colon removed if medical treatment fails, if there is massive bleeding, severe illness, rupture of the colon, or risk of cancer.