Ulcerative Colitis in Children | Testing and Treatment

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Contact the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center

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

What tests are needed for children with ulcerative colitis?

Your pediatrician may refer you to our IBD Center, or you may be looking for a second opinion for your child’s symptoms. In many cases, we will confirm the diagnosis and learn more about how ulcerative colitis your child before meeting to discuss our treatment recommendations.

Tests we commonly recommend may include one or more of the following:

  • blood tests
  • stool sample
  • endoscopy
  • colonoscopy
  • video capsule endoscopy
  • MR enterography
  • biopsy
  • imaging studies

Once we have an accurate diagnosis of your child’s condition, our goal is to get your child on the road to proper care and management of IBD — and most importantly, start feeling better as soon as possible.

How is ulcerative colitis treated?

Ulcerative colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease, is very treatable. With consistent IBD care management and a good understanding of the condition, the vast majority of people with IBD go on to live full and active lives. 

Depending on the severity of symptoms, treating ulcerative colitis often requires a combination of approaches. Our IBD team will meet with you to discuss a customized treatment plan based on individual symptoms and health needs.

Members of our IBD team include:

  • a gastroenterologist
  • a nurse specialist
  • a social worker
  • a nurse educator
  • a psychologist

Treatment plans include:

  • Medication:

    Drug therapy can reduce inflammation and control symptoms. Medications we may prescribe include:
    • anti-inflammatory drugs, such as steroids, to bring the disease under control
    • immune system suppressants that can reduce swelling
    • antibiotics to treat related complications, such as abscesses or fistulas
    • antiulcer/H2 blockers (acid-reducing medications) to treat related ulcers and irritation
  • Nutrition support:

    All of our patients have the option to meet a registered dietician who specializes in IBD who will develop an eating plan to help control symptoms and improve health.
Watch this video and learn more about nutrition and IBD.


Surgery for ulcerative colitis

A small percentage of children with ulcerative colitis who do not respond to medication may need surgery, which can dramatically improve quality of life and improve symptoms. The decision to have surgery is a joint one, made with the patient, family members, your gastroenterologist and the surgeon.

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Members of our IBD team include:

  • a gastroenterologist
  • a nurse practitioner
  • a social worker
  • a dietitian
  • a psychologist

Treatment plans for ulcerative colitis

Each child has a treatment plan that is most effective for their ulcerative colitis. Treatment plans can include medication, nutritional support, and in-depth consultation with any member of our IBD team

Medication:

Drug therapy can reduce inflammation and control symptoms. Medications we may prescribe include:

anti-inflammatory drugs, such as steroidsto bring the disease under control

immune system suppressants that can reduce swelling

antibiotics to treat related complications, such as abscesses or fistulas

antiulcer/H2 blockers (acid-reducing medications) to treat related ulcers and irritation

Nutrition support:

All of our patients have the option to meet a registered dietitian who specializes in IBD who will develop a nutritional plan to help control symptoms and improve health.

To learn more about the treatment and services we offer please visit the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center 

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- 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

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