Ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition where there is inflammation and ulceration within the large bowel. Sometimes only the end of the large bowel is affected (rectum and lower colon) and sometimes the whole of the large bowel can be affected (pancolitis). Ulcerative colitis can start at any age but it most often develops between the age of 15 and 25 years.
Symptoms that patients usually experience with Ulcerative colitis include:
The exact cause is not know but it is thought that people develop ulcerative colitis for a range of reasons including:
Ulcerative colitis is usually managed by medications that need to be taken on a regular basis. Most patients will be managed by a Gastroenterology specialist as an outpatient.
If symptoms become very severe it is possible that surgery is needed but this will only be considered if absolutely necessary.