Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a disease that causes inflammation and sores, called ulcers, in the lining of the rectum and colon. It is one of a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease.
UC can happen at any age, but it usually starts between the ages of 15 and 30. It tends to run in families. The most common symptoms are pain in the abdomen and blood or pus in diarrhea. Other symptoms may include:
- Severe tiredness
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Bleeding from the rectum
- Sores on the skin
- Joint pain
- Growth failure in children
About half of people with UC have mild symptoms.
Doctors use blood tests, stool tests, colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy, and imaging tests to diagnose UC. Several types of drugs can help control it. Some people have long periods of remission, when they are free of symptoms. In severe cases, doctors must remove the colon.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases