Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center What is ulcerative colitis?

LIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke This

Find out more about the signs and symptoms of ulcerative colitis (UC). Is there a cure? What causes UC? What services are available to help me learn more about a recent diagnosis? How common is UC? What resources are available for newly diagnosed patients?

Summary points 

  • Colonoscopy is the principal test used to diagnose ulcerative colitis (UC). The colon is examined and tiny samples, or biopsies, are taken and examined under the microscope to confirm the diagnosis of UC.

  • UC is the result of inflammation that is limited to the large intestine, or colon. Symptoms of UC most commonly include diarrhea and bloody stools.

  • UC is a long-term, chronic illness that requires routine medical follow-up and treatment. The goal of medical care is to keep the inflammation under control, or in remission.

  • The exact cause of UC is unknown. The inflammation in the colon occurs when cells that normally fight infection attack the intestine instead, causing redness and swelling.

  • UC affects everyone differently. Some patients have mild disease while others have a more severe form of UC, and patient cases can fall anywhere between the two extremes.

  • 1.4 million Americans have some form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This number includes both people with UC and also people with another form of IBD, Crohn’s disease. About 10% of people with IBD are children or young adults, and males and females are affected equally.

  • Children with UC can do all the things other people can do. Even with daily medication, patients go to school, play sports, go to college, travel, and lead full and active lives.

Request an Appointment

If this is a medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1. This form should not be used in an emergency.

Patient Information
Date of Birth:
Contact Information
Appointment Details
Send RequestIf you do not see the specialty you are looking for, please call us at: 617-355-6000.International visitors should call International Health Services at +1-617-355-5209.
Please complete all required fields

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

Thank you.

Your request has been successfully submitted

You will be contacted within 1 business day.

If you have questions or would like more information, please call:

617-355-6000 +1-617-355-6000
close
Find a Doctor
Search by Clinician's Last Name or Specialty:
Select by Location:
Search by First Letter of Clinician's Last Name: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
More optionsSearch
Condition & Treatments
Search for a Condition or Treatment:
Show Items Starting With: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
View allSearch
Locations

Contact the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center

  • 1-617-355-6058
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
Close