Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Ulcerative Colitis Overview

What is ulcerative colitis?
A person with ulcerative colitis has severe inflammation of the colon. The inflammation causes ulcers to form on the inside surface of the colon. Ulcerative colitis may be caused by an abnormal immune system, which normally fights infection. The immune system mistakenly attacks the colon, causing inflammation. The cause of the abnormal immune system in ulcerative colitis is unknown. About 7 out of every 100,000 people develop ulcerative colitis each year in the US.

What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis include diarrhea, blood in the stool, and mucus in the stool. Additional symptoms of ulcerative colitis include painful bowel movements, anal pain, left lower abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, and unintentional weight loss.

How does the doctor treat ulcerative colitis?
Treatment for ulcerative colitis may include medications that reduce inflammation, medications for diarrhea, and antibiotics. Treatment for severe ulcerative colitis may include surgery to remove the colon.

Continue to Ulcerative Colitis Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 23, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Ulcerative Colitis References
  1. Hanauer SB. Review article: the long-term management of ulcerative colitis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2004 Oct;20 Suppl 4:97-101. [15352903]
  2. Loftus EV Jr, Kane SV, Bjorkman D. Systematic review: short-term adverse effects of 5-aminosalicylic acid agents in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2004 Jan 15;19(2):179-89. [14723609]
  3. Rizzello F, Gionchetti P, Venturi A, Campieri M. Review article: medical treatment of severe ulcerative colitis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2003 Jun;17 Suppl 2:7-10. [12786606]
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