Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a disease of the large intestine that causes inflammation and ulceration that can produce pus, bleeding and mucus. The most common symptoms are diarrhea, bloody stools, and abdominal pain, but it can also cause weight loss, fatigue, anemia, skin lesions, rashes and other symptoms.

What is ulcerative colitis?

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.

Diagnosing and treating ulcerative colitis

At the IBD program, 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 blood or stool tests, endoscopies or colonoscopies with biopsies, and magnetic resonance enterography.

Though there is no cure for ulcerative colitis, there are highly effective treatments which allow most children with these diseases to feel well and have excellent outcomes. We offer a wide range of services that can help manage symptoms and improve your child’s quality of life. These may include a personalized pharmacotherapy plan, surgery when needed, or an appointment with a dietician to set up a nutritional plan. These services may also include meetings with psychologists and social workers to help with any social and emotional problems that may be caused by ulcerative colitis.

Learn more about our treatments and services >

Ulcerative colitis 101 video from the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation

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