KidsMD Health Topics

Ulcerative Colitis in Children

  • What is ulcerative colitis in children?

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

    UC is a chronic—but highly manageable—disease.  Consider these facts about ulcerative colitis in kids:

    • While ulcerative colitis can occur at any age, even in early childhood, it’s most often seen in older children and young adults.
    • It affects males and females equally and appears to run in some families.
    • A case of UC may be mild, severe or anywhere in between.
    • A cure has yet to be found, but UC can often be controlled very well with medication and lifestyle changes.
    • For patients who don’t respond to medication, surgery is often an excellent option.

    Watch ‘Growing up with Ulcerative Colitis – What Every Family Should Know,’ a series of short videos to learn all about UC.

    How Boston Children's Hospital approaches ulcerative colitis

    Children and teenagers with ulcerative colitis have a wide variety of needs that may include medication management, nutritional counseling, careful monitoring of their growth and development, surgical care, psychological and social support. Boston Children’s is the #1 ranked pediatric gastroenterology department (U.S. News & World Report, 2014), which includes a dedicated team of doctors and specialists in the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center. Our world-class care team can help your child by providing individualized treatment plans and access to more specialized care than any other hospital. We see around 2,500 children each year, and our work is guided by our belief that children and young adults with IBD deserve to live a happy and unhindered life. We care for children in Boston and in our many locations in Massachusetts.

    As a leading referral center for pediatric IBD, our Center is committed to discovering the causes of, and improving the treatments for, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

    Contact Us to Make an Appointment:

    Contact the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center to make an appointment for your child.
    617-355-6058
    International: +1-617-355-5209

    More Resources:

    Our patients' stories: Life after ulcerative colitis
    5 tips for heading off to college with IBD
    6 tips for a new school year—with inflammatory bowel disease

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Contact the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center

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