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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease where there is chronic inflammation of the digestive system. Ulcerative colitis mainly affects the large bowel. It causes inflammation and ulcers in the lining of the bowel, which results in pain and …
What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
The main symptom of ulcerative colitis is urgent, recurring diarrhea that can contain blood, mucus and pus. You may have anywhere between 6 and 20 bowel movements in one day during a flare-up. You may also have stomach cramps and feel nauseous.
What causes ulcerative colitis?
The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown, but some possible causes include: autoimmune conditions (in which your body's immune system accidentally attacks the body's own cells) and genetic conditions (due to mutations in your DNA).
Who gets ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis mainly happens to young adults between the ages of 15 and 40.
How is ulcerative colitis diagnosed?
Ulcerative colitis is usually diagnosed based upon a colonoscopy and biopsies taken of the bowel.
How is ulcerative colitis treated?
Medications are the main treatment for ulcerative colitis. Surgery is only used if symptoms are difficult to control or there are life-threatening complications.
Can ulcerative colitis be cured?
Removing the entire bowel can potentially cure a person from ulcerative colitis. However, this procedure carries a significant risk and in most cases the condition can be sufficiently controlled through medications.
What is the outcome for ulcerative colitis?
Most people will be able to live a full life with ulcerative colitis and manage their symptoms with medications and lifestyle modifications. Keeping a food diary is a good idea, as it helps you to find out if there are certain foods or beverages …
About this article
Author: Karen McCloskey BHSc
First answered: 23 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.4 out of 5
Votes: 1396 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Ulcerative colitis