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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


How triclosan, likely found in toothpaste, is triggered to harm the gut

Posted: January 28 2022

An international team of researchers led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Hong Kong Baptist University identified the bacteria, and even specific enzymes, that trigger triclosan’s harmful effects. Moreover, studies in mice suggest these bacterial enzymes can be blocked from driving intestinal damage. The findings were published in Nature […]

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Surgery risk for IBD declining in biologic era, ‘but that doesn’t mean it’s zero’

Posted: January 24 2022

By Robert Stott “If you think in terms of risk, about what the most disabling situation is when it comes to ulcerative colitis, it’s probably surgery, and most patients would like to avoid this at any cost,” Angelina Collins, MSN, ANP‐BC, from the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at UC San Diego Health, told attendees. “There is […]

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Research links gut fungi to intestinal inflammation in Crohn’s disease

Results of a new study by researchers at Case Western Reserve University represent a step toward improving our understanding of Crohn’s disease and the factors that cause its intestinal inflammation.

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that can lead to chronic inflammation of the entire digestive tract. Symptoms include diarrhea, pain and cramping, fatigue, weight loss and more. There is no cure for Crohn’s disease, but patients can alleviate symptoms with current treatment options.    New treatment options for Crohn’s disease patients […]

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Personal Story

What I wish people knew about ulcerative colitis

Posted: January 20 2022

By Nour Al-Timimi Not too long ago, perhaps a few weeks ago, I was telling a colleague how I don’t like describing an unfamiliar person by their physical features. I obviously don’t know them enough to be able to describe them by personality or character trait, which makes it difficult when speaking or referring to […]

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People with IBD have more microplastics in their feces

Posted: January 13 2022

Microplastics — tiny pieces of plastic less than 5 mm in length — are everywhere, from bottled water to food to air. According to recent estimates, people consume tens of thousands of these particles each year, with unknown health consequences.  The prevalence of IBD, which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, is rising globally. Characterized […]

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Global spread of autoimmune disease blamed on western diet

Posted: January 10 2022

By Robin McKie  More and more people around the world are suffering because their immune systems can no longer tell the difference between healthy cells and invading micro-organisms. Disease defences that once protected them are instead attacking their tissue and organs. Major international research efforts are being made to fight this trend – including an initiative at […]

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