Conditions + Treatments

Ulcerative Colitis in Children

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Contact the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center

  • 617-355-6058
  • International: +1-617-355-5209

What is ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a condition in which one or more parts of the intestinal tract become inflamed. (Crohn’s disease, CD, is the other main form of IBD.)

If a child has ulcerative colitis, the inner lining of the large intestine (also called the colon or bowel) become inflamed, which can cause cramping, pain, bleeding and diarrhea.

Some important facts about ulcerative colitis in children:

  • It may occur at any age, but is most common in older children and young adults.
  • Ulcerative colitis may run in some families.
  • Symptoms may be mild or severe.
  • There is no cure. However, the right treatment plan can minimize or eliminate symptoms with medication, lifestyle changes and, in some cases, surgery. Read more about our approach to IBD treatment.
  • About 20 percent of children with ulcerative colitis will eventually need surgery.
  • The disease can go into periods of remission.

Watch “What is ulcerative colitis?” video to learn more about UC.

Care for ulcerative colitis

At the Boston Children’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, our team believes that, with proper management, all children and teens with ulcerative colitis can live comfortably. We partner with you and your child to effectively manage IBD and provide support through all life stages, from school and relationships to work.

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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337