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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

Personal Story

I Became a model after having my colon removed

Posted: May 13 2021

By Gaylyn Henderson, as told to Sarah Z. Wexler My road to a Crohn’s diagnosis started when I was 13. I had always wanted to model, but I was sick so often—experiencing chronic loose stool and using the bathroom often—that I didn’t think it was a possibility for me. My pediatrician immediately referred me to […]

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‘It’s affected my life in many different ways’

Posted: May 10 2021

By 2022, it’s expected that more than 100,000 people will be living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in Australia, according to Crohn’s & Colitis Australia (CCA). As the rate of these inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) continue to rise, CCA is urging people to share what it’s like to live with these life-long illnesses as […]

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PBS listing for Australians with a rare epilepsy condition and ulcerative colitis

Posted: May 10 2021

In a historic first, Australians living with a rare form of epilepsy will have access to a medicinal cannabis drug, which is being listed on Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the first time. From 1 May 2021, Australians living with Dravet syndrome, will have access to Epidyolex® (cannabidiol), a new treatment used in combination with […]

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Blog

5 Common mistakes that can make ulcerative colitis worse

Posted: May 10 2021

By Meghan Rabbitt When you live with ulcerative colitis (UC), you know that symptoms can return even if you’ve been in remission—and even if you’re doing everything you can to avoid a flare. Yet there are a number of missteps you might not even realize you’re making that can worsen your condition, says Matilda Hagan, M.D., co-director for […]

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Research

Diet–microbiota interactions in inflammatory bowel disease

Accumulating evidence suggests that the gut microbiota plays pivotal roles in the regulation of intestinal homeostasis and IBD pathogenesis.

By Kohei Sugihara and Nobuhiko Kamada  Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD), is a chronic and relapsing inflammatory disorder of the gastrointestinal tract. The prevalence of IBD has been increasing worldwide, affecting about 3 million people in the United States and 2.5 million people in Europe. Although the precise etiology […]

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Advancing research of inflammatory intestinal diseases

Posted: May 10 2021

By Anna MacDonald To help advance research of inflammatory intestinal diseases, Emulate recently launched the Colon Intestine-Chip, a comprehensive model that incorporates human colonic organoids and supportive colonic endothelial cells. We spoke to Dr Lorna Ewart, Emulate’s executive vice president of science, to learn more about the limitations of traditional inflammatory intestinal disease models, what makes the […]

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