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About Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory condition that generally affects the innermost lining (mucosa) of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. Ulcerative colitis symptoms typically involve the lining becoming inflamed (red and swollen) and tiny open sores (ulcers) forming on the surface of the lining. These ulcers might bleed – in fact, bleeding from the rectum is often a first sign that something’s not quite right. The inflamed lining also produces a larger than normal amount of intestinal lubricant or mucus, which sometimes contains pus. Most people with this condition respond well to colitis treatment, but in more severe cases, surgery may become a necessary path.

How does ulcerative colitis affect the intestines?

Inflammation ‘attacks’ the innermost lining of the colon known as the mucosa, resulting in bleeding and diarrhoea.

The inflammation is most often located in the rectum and lower colon, but can also involve other parts of the colon, sometimes even the entire colon. Less often, it might involve other parts of the intestine. Depending on the exact location of the inflammation, ulcerative colitis is known by other names:

  • Proctitis: involves only the rectum
  • Proctosigmoiditis: involves the rectum and sigmoid colon (the lower segment of the colon before the rectum)
  • Distal colitis: involves only the left side of the colon
  • Pancolitis: involves the entire colon
  • Backwash ileitis: involves the distal ileum.

Additional Information:

The latest news and Research

News

Gutsy effort to produce comprehensive study of intestinal gases

Posted: September 18 2019

A source of embarrassment to some, or pure comedy to others, flatulence and the gases of the intestines are increasingly seen as playing an important role in our digestive health. A paper led by UNSW Sydney and published in Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology has examined all available literature on gastrointestinal gases, their interactions with the microbiome […]

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News

Putting an end to inflammation

Posted: September 18 2019

Physician Dr. Andreas Ramming from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has succeeded in securing research funding in one of the toughest European selection processes. Over the next five years, the European Research Council (ERC) will support his outstanding research project with an ERC Starting Grant of 1.5 million euros. Dr. Andreas Ramming from the Department of Medicine […]

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Research

Scientists discover promising new lead in Crohn’s disease

QIMR Berghofer researchers have identified a key driver of the aggressive gut disorder, Crohn’s disease, a finding that could eventually lead to new treatments for the often-debilitating condition.

Crohn’s disease – also known as inflammatory bowel disease – is incurable and affects about 35,000 people in Australia. QIMR Berghofer scientists found the protein PD-L2 was overactive in people with Crohn’s disease. The study was led by the head of the Molecular Immunology group, Dr Michelle Wykes, and Dr Graham Radford-Smith, who leads the […]

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Personal Story

Student with stoma accused of taking drugs

Posted: September 11 2019

Amber Davies, 21, from Builth Wells, has a stoma after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis aged 13. While on a night out in Birmingham, she was “grabbed” by a bouncer after coming out of the disabled toilet. Wetherspoons said staff apologised for the “confusing situation”. Amber posted an open letter on her Instagram account detailing her experience, saying the […]

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Research

Diet-induced remission of Crohn’s disease associated with altered microbial community structure

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania looked at the association of diet, gut microbiome and IBD.

Background The microbiome has been implicated in the initiation and persistence of inflammatory bowel disease. Despite the fact that diet is one of the most potent modulators of microbiome composition and function and that dietary intervention is the first-line therapy for treating pediatric Crohn’s disease, the relationships between diet-induced remission, enteropathy, and microbiome are poorly […]

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News

Serotonin and anti-depressants can have a major effect on the gut’s microbiota

Posted: September 11 2019

Serotonin — a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger that sends messages among cells — serves many functions in the human body, including playing a role in emotions and happiness. An estimated 90% of the body’s serotonin is produced in the gut, where it influences gut immunity. The team — led by senior author Elaine Hsiao and […]

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