Diseases & Conditions


Colitis, Ulcerative

Synonyms of Colitis, Ulcerative
  • Chronic Non-Specific Ulcerative Colitis
  • Colitis Gravis
  • Idiopathic Non-Specific Ulcerative Colitis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Ulcerative Colitis Type
  • Proctocolitis, Idiopathic

Disorder Subdivisions

    General Discussion
    Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) of unknown cause. It is characterized by chronic inflammation and ulceration of the lining of the major portion of the large intestine (colon). In most affected individuals, the lowest region of the large intestine, known as the rectum, is initially affected. As the disease progresses, some or all of the colon may become involved. Although associated symptoms and findings usually become apparent during adolescence or young adulthood, some individuals may experience an initial episode between age 50 to 70. In other cases, symptom onset may occur as early as the first year of life.

    Ulcerative colitis is usually a chronic disease with repeated episodes of symptoms and remission (relapsing-remitting). However, some affected individuals may have few episodes, whereas others may have severe, continuous symptoms. During an episode, affected individuals may experience attacks of watery diarrhea that may contain pus, blood, and/or mucus; abdominal pain; fever and chills; weight loss; and/or other symptoms and findings. In severe cases, individuals may be at risk for certain serious complications. For example, severe inflammation and ulceration may result in thinning of the wall of the colon, causing tearing (perforation) of the colon and potentially life-threatening complications. In addition, in some cases, individuals with the disorder may eventually develop more generalized (systemic) symptoms, such as certain inflammatory skin or eye conditions; inflammation, pain, and swelling of certain joints (arthritis); chronic inflammation of the liver (chronic active hepatitis); and/or other findings.

    The specific underlying cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown. However, genetic, immunologic, infectious, and/or psychologic factors are thought to play some causative role.

    Organizations related to Colitis, Ulcerative
    • American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
      22100 Gratiot Avenue
      Eastpointe MI 48021
      Phone #: 586-776-3900
      800 #: 800-598-4668
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.aarda.org/
    • AutoImmunity Community
      None None None
      Phone #: (91-9) -552-9057
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://autoimmunitycommunity.org
    • Autoimmune Information Network, Inc
      PO Box 4121
      Brick NJ 08723
      Phone #: 732-664-9259
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.aininc.org
    • CORE
      3 St. Andrews Place
      London None NW1 4LB
      Phone #: 020- 74-86 0341
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.corecharity.org.uk
    • Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America
      386 Park Avenue South
      New York NY 10016-9804
      Phone #: 212-685-3440
      800 #: 800-932-2423
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.ccfa.org
    • Erythema Nodosum Yahoo Support Group
      None None None
      Phone #: N/A
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: N/A
      Home page: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/erythema_nodosum_Group/
    • European Society for Immunodeficiencies (ESID)
      c/o Dr. Esther de Vries
      Hertogenbosch None 5200 ME's
      Phone #: +31- 73--6992965
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.esid.org
    • Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation
      70 East Lake Street
      Chicago IL 60601-5907
      Phone #: 312-332-1350
      800 #: --
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.girf.org
    • International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
      P.O. Box 170864
      Milwaukee WI 53217
      Phone #: 414-964-1799
      800 #: 888-964-2001
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.iffgd.org
    • Madisons Foundation
      PO Box 241956
      Los Angeles CA 90024
      Phone #: 310-264-0826
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.madisonsfoundation.org
    • NIH/National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
      2 Information Way
      Bethesda MD 20892-3570
      Phone #: 301-654-3810
      800 #: 800-891-5389
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.niddk.nih.gov
    • Pull-Thru Network
      2312 Savoy Street
      Hoover AL 35226
      Phone #: 205-978-2930
      800 #: --
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.PullthruNetwork.org
    • Reach Out for Youth with Ileitis and Colitis, Inc.
      84 Northgate Circle
      Melville NY 11747
      Phone #: 631-293-3102
      800 #: --
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.reachoutforyouth.org

    For a Complete Report

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html