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General Information

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a disease in which the lining of the colon (the large intestine) becomes inflamed and develops sores (ulcers), leading to bleeding and diarrhea. The inflammation almost always affects the rectum and lower part of the colon, but it can also affect the entire colon.

The symptoms of ulcerative colitis can be mild, moderate, or severe, and can fluctuate over time. Periods of active symptoms are called "flares." When symptoms are under control and the colon is not inflamed, the ulcerative colitis is considered "in remission."

The main goals of treatment for ulcerative colitis are to:

  • Control symptoms (achieve remission)
  • Prevent symptoms from coming back (maintain remission)

Ulcerative colitis is part of a group of conditions called "inflammatory bowel diseases" (IBD). Crohn disease is another inflammatory bowel disease, although that disease can affect the entire digestive tract (anywhere from the mouth to the anus), while ulcerative colitis only affects the colon. IBD is not the same as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Ulcerative Colitis
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