If you or someone you love have recently been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, it’s important to begin learning as much as you can about what ulcerative colitis is. By developing a better understanding of ulcerative colitis, you will be more prepared to manage its symptoms and live a full life.

Ulcerative colitis, is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers (sores) in your digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis affects the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum. Symptoms usually develop over time, rather than suddenly, in which the lining of the colon becomes inflamed and develops tiny open sores, or ulcers, that produce pus and mucous. The combination of inflammation usually begins in the rectum and lower colon, but it may affect the entire colon. If UC only affects the rectum, it is called proctitis, while if it affects the whole colon it may be called total Colitis and Ulcerative colitis affects only the colon, cause abdominal discomfort and frequent emptying of the colon.ULCERATIVE COLITIS


Ulcerative colitis is the result of an abnormal response by your body’s immune system. Normally, the cells and proteins that make up the immune system protect you from infection. In people with IBD, however, the immune system mistakes food, bacteria, and other materials in the intestine for foreign or invading substances. When this happens, the body sends white blood cells into the lining of the intestines, where they produce chronic inflammation and ulcerations.

Ulcerative colitis can be debilitating and sometimes can lead to life-threatening complications. While it has no known cure, treatment can greatly reduce signs and symptoms of the disease and even bring about long-term remission.




Both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), but there are some key differences.



9 Things you didn't know about Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

 Crohn’s DiseaseUlcerative Colitis
DistributionAffects small bowel and large bowelAffects large bowel only
Endoscopy findingRectum frequently spared
Inflammation not continuous

Bowel wall is thickened and has a “cobblestoned” appearance due to deep ulcers and swelling of the tissue
Rectum always affected
Inflammation is uniform

Bowel wall is thin with loss of vascular pattern { blood vessels not visible}
RadiologyStrictures are common

Asymmetrical inflammation
Strictures and fissures are much less common in UC

Symmetrical inflammation
HistologyPresence of granulomas are almost diagnostic

Inflammation extents through the mucosa and muscle of the bowel

The increase in white cells tend to be lymphocytes
Granulomata absent

Inflammation usually confined to mucosa

The increase in white cells tend to be polymorphs
DietRemission achieved with eternal feed followed by exclusion/elimination dietUnaffected by diet
Clinical appearancePatients often thin and may be malnourished due to intestinal malabsorption of nutrients

Diarrhea – only sometimes with blood abdominal mass common
Weight loss usually related to the severity of active disease

Bloody diarrhea
Abdominal mass uncommon
SmokingStrongly associated with smoking
Predicts a worse course of disease
Increase risk of surgery & further surgery
Associated with non-smokers or ex-smokers
Appears to protect against disease
Potential intestinal symptomsBloody diarrhea
Abdominal pain
Weight loss
Ulceration and bleeding
Bloody diarrhea
Abdominal pain
Weight loss
Perforation of the colon
Toxin megacolon
Liver disease
Skin changes
Skin changes


up to

of people with UC have a blood relative who has IBD

males and females are affected equally   



The Complete 4 Top Causes of Colitis


The cause of this condition is unknown. Previously, diet and stress were suspected, but now doctors know that these factors may aggravate but don’t cause ulcerative colitis Today, research focuses on the immune system and heredity for possible causes, when your immune system tries to fight off an invading virus or bacterium, an abnormal immune response causes the immune system to attack the cells in the digestive tract, too.

Heredity also seems to play a role in that ulcerative colitis is more common in people who have family members with the disease. However, most people with ulcerative colitis don’t have this family history.


Environmental factors

Where and how you live also seems to affect your chances of developing ulcerative colitis, which suggests environmental factors are important.

For example, the condition is more common in urban areas of northern parts of Western Europe and America compare to Asian 

Various environmental factors that may be linked to ulcerative colitis have been studied, including air pollution, medication and certain diets.

Although no factors have so far been identified, countries with improved sanitation seem to have a higher population of people with the condition. This suggests that reduced exposure to bacteria may be an important factor.



GENETIC It also seems inherited genes a factor in the development of ulcerative colitis. Studies have found more than one in four people with ulcerative colitis has a family history of the condition.

Levels of ulcerative colitis are also higher in certain ethnic groups, further suggesting that genetics are a factor.

Researchers have identified several genes that seem to make people more likely to develop ulcerative colitis, and it’s believed that many of these genes play a role in the immune system


Stress does more than making your palms sweat and your brow furrow. For people with ulcerative colitis, stress may bring painful and unpleasant flare.

Being exposed to extreme stress causes a fivefold increase in the risk of a relapse of ulcerative colitis, the next day, according to a recent study involving 60 people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Stress, bad mood, and major life events are also associated with flares of IBDs.

STRESS In addition, depression and anxiety lead to increased risk of ulcerative colitis flares, worse disease activity, and hospitalization. Short-term stress can lead to flares even more than depression or other emotional states

How are ulcerative colitis and stress connected? Psychological stress can increase the permeability of the intestines, causing symptoms such as a leaky bowel. Although these observations are primarily based on animal studies, they may play a role in humans as well. Stress also impacts the immune system, disrupting neurotransmitters and hormones, all of which are involved in IBD.

Ulcerative colitis can increase your stress level by worrying about symptoms, accident, and managing a chronic condition in general — taking medication, eating the right food, and avoiding triggers. Along with the physical symptoms of the disease, managing stress is a priority for people with ulcerative colitis.

Infectious causes

Infectious causes


Many bacteria reside in the colon; they live in harmony with the body and cause no symptoms. However, some infections can result if a virus, bacteria, or parasite invade the small and/or large intestine.

These infections usually occur because the patient has eaten contaminated food. Symptoms can include diarrhea with or without blood.






5 Common Misconceptions That Can Make Ulcerative Colitis Worse

Mistake No. 1: Skipping Medications




A variety of medications is used to treat ulcerative colitis depends on the severity of your condition and your overall health. But it doesn’t matter whether your doctor has you taking an anti-inflammatory drug, an immunosuppressant, or a combination of medications none of them will work if you don’t take them as your doctor prescribes.



Mistake No. 2: Disregard Stress

Stress can lead to a flare in a variety of ways, such as potentially starting an immune system response that leads to inflammation, or simply knocking you out of your usual routine, leading to poor diet, sleep, and medication habits. Learning techniques such as meditation or yoga may help to manage the stress.


Mistake No. 3: Eating deficiently and Large Meals at one time

“There’s no a food or foods group that causes or cures ulcerative colitis. No specific food has been shown to trigger a flare. But doctors do recommend an overall healthy diet, even when you’re not
experiencing ulcerative colitis symptoms. Sticking to nutrient-rich foods and avoiding those that have caused digestive issues in the past may help to keep you in remission.

What you eat may also make a difference when you’re having an ulcerative Large Meals colitis flare.  Eating low-fiber foods that are easy to digest and cooking your veggies before you eat them. It also means cutting out foods that put your bowels to work, such as beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and some raw fruits and vegetables.   Moreover, when ulcerative colitis symptoms are active, you can ease your body’s burden by eating frequent yet smaller meals so the volume of food and fluid is stable and limited. Consider, having five fist-sized meals every three to four hours instead of three large meals a day.


Mistake No. 4: Not Paying Attention to Trigger Foods


If you’ve never kept a food diary, now maybe this is the time. Although there are no specific foods been found to be universal triggers of ulcerative colitis flares, many people with ulcerative colitis find certain foods seem to either bring on symptoms or make symptoms worse. It pays to avoid that food once you know what they are.

For example, dairy products can be particularly irritating for people who have both ulcerative colitis and lactose intolerance. In this case, you should be vigilant about cutting out all dairy products.



Mistake No. 5: Not Drinking Enough Fluids and Drinking Carbonated Beverages

If you’re experiencing diarrhea, you run the risk of becoming dehydrated because your body may be losing more fluids than it’s taking in especially if you’re
not drinking enough. This can be harmful to your body’s overall well-being and ability to heal.

Drink water as much during an ulcerative colitis flare. However, there are some liquids that you should think twice about if you have diarrhea.

When you’re in the midst of an ulcerative colitis flare, avoid sodas and other drinks with carbonation — it can be irritating to the lining of your digestive tract. Also, because many of these drinks contain caffeine and sugar, which can contribute to diarrhea, you might be giving yourself a double dose of irritation.



Top 10 symptoms of ulcerative colitis flare up


Flare up means..?

Some people may go for weeks or months with very mild symptoms, or none at all (known as remission), followed by periods where the symptoms are particularly troublesome (known as flare-ups or relapses).

During a flare-up, some people with ulcerative colitis also experience symptoms elsewhere in their body. For example, some people develop:


  • moderate to severe abdominal pain or cramps that aren’t helped by ordinary pain or antispasmodic medications
  • bleeding from the rectum or blood in the stool
  • moderate to severe diarrhea that may lead to dehydration in severe cases
  • weight loss due to loss of appetite and diarrhea symptoms
  • inability to have a satisfactory bowel movement
  • nutritional issues resulting from frequent and severe flaring
  • anemia due to bleeding with bowel movements



In severe cases, defined as having to empty your bowels six or more times a day, additional symptoms may include:

  • shortness of breath
  • a fast or irregular heartbeat
  • a high temperature (fever)
  • joint pain
  • joint swelling
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • skin ulcers
  • mouth sores
  • Fever


In most people, no specific trigger for flare-ups is identified, although a gut infection can occasionally be the cause. Stress is also thought to be a potential factor.


Because inflammatory bowel disease may be caused by a defect in the immune response system, other body organs may be involved, including for example:

  • Vision problems or eye pain
  • Joint problems
  • Neck or lower neck pain
  • Skin rashes
  • Liver and bile duct disease
  • Kidney problems
  • malnutrition

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