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Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a disease of the large intestine that causes inflammation and ulcers that can produce pus, bleeding and mucus. The most common symptoms are stomach discomfort and diarrhea, but it can also cause bloody stools, rectal bleeding, weight loss, fatigue, anemia, skin lesions, rashes and other symptoms. It can affect younger children but most commonly affects children who are 15 years old and older.

Ulcerative colitis is the result of an abnormal response by the immune system. The body treats the food, bacteria and other substances in the intestine as disease-causing agents. When this happens, the body goes into attack mode, sending white blood cells to the lining of the intestines. This results in inflammation and ulcers in the colon. While we don't know the exact causes of ulcerative colitis, researchers believe an abnormal immune system’s response to gut bacteria and other environmental triggers in the colon play a role.

At the IBD Center, we offer diagnostic services that can determine whether your child is suffering from ulcerative colitis. In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, these services may include a stool sample, colonoscopy, upper endoscopy, biopsy or barium enema.

Though there is no cure for ulcerative colitis, we offer a wide range of services that can help manage symptoms and improve your child’s quality of life. When treatment is necessary, it must be tailored for each case because what helps one patient may not help another. Treatments may include surgery, a personalized pharmacotherapy plan or hospitalization to correct malnutrition. Children are also given necessary emotional and psychological support.