Ulcerative Colitis

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Skip to the navigation

Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Ulcerative Colitis is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

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 ages 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.

Supporting Organizations

American Autoimmune & Related Diseases

22100 Gratiot Ave.
Eastpointe, MI 48021
Tel: (586)776-3900
Fax: (586)776-3903
Tel: (800)598-4668
Email: aarda@aarda.org
Website: http://www.aarda.org/

AutoImmunity Community

Website: https://www.facebook.com/autoimmunityforum

CORE

3 St. Andrews Place
London, NW1 4LB
United Kingdom
Tel: 2074860341
Fax: 2072242012
Email: info@corecharity.org.uk
Website: http://www.corecharity.org.uk

Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America

386 Park Avenue South
17th Floor
New York, NY 10016-7374
USA
Tel: (212)685-3440
Fax: (212)779-4098
Tel: (800)932-2423
Email: info@ccfa.org
Website: http://www.ccfa.org

Erythema Nodosum Yahoo Support Group

Website: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/erythema_nodosum_Group/

European Society for Immunodeficiencies

1-3 rue de Chantepoulet
Geneva, CH 1211
Switzerland
Tel: 410229080484
Fax: 41229069140
Email: esid@kenes.com
Website: http://www.esid.org

Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation

70 East Lake Street
Suite 1015
Chicago, IL 60601
Tel: (312)332-1350
Fax: (312)332-4757
Email: info@girf.org
Website: http://www.girf.org

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders

700 W. Virginia St., 201
Milwaukee, WI 53217
USA
Tel: (414)964-1799
Fax: (414)964-7176
Tel: (888)964-2001
Email: iffgd@iffgd.org
Website: http://www.iffgd.org

NIH/National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases

Office of Communications & Public Liaison
Bldg 31, Rm 9A06
Bethesda, MD 20892-2560
Tel: (301)496-3583
Email: NDDIC@info.niddk.nih.gov
Website: http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/

PSC Partners Seeking a Cure

5237 South Kenton Way
Englewood, CO 80111
Tel: (303)771-5227
Fax: (303)221-0757
Email: contactus@pscpartners.org
Website: http://www.pscpartners.org

Pull-Thru Network

1705 Wintergreen Parkway
Normal, IL 61761
USA
Tel: (309)262-2930
Email: PullthruNetwork@gmail.com
Website: http://www.PullthruNetwork.org

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  11/5/2012
Copyright  2005 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.