Ulcerative colitis is a long-term inflammation and ulceration of the bowel (large intestine) and the rectum. Small ulcers develop on the lining and may bleed. Ulcerative colitis may appear in intervals.

The ulcerative colitis starts in the rectum and may extend to the bowel. There are three types of ulcerative colitis:

  • Proctitis, when it remains in the rectum
  • Left-sided (distal) colitis, when the inflammation is in the rectum and the left side of the colon, known as distal, i.e. descending colon
  • Total colitis affects the whole colon

Ulcerative colitis is one of the two main types of the inflammatory bowel diseases. The other is the Crohn’s disease.



The symptoms of ulcerative colitis vary from a person to person and they can range from mils to severe. The most common ones are:

  • Diarrhea, often with blood and mucus
  • Abdominal pains
  • Rectum pain
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Anemia



The cause of ulcerative colitis is not exactly known. Research so far has proved that the cause is a combination of the following factors: inherited genes and abnormal reaction of the immune system to certain bacteria, triggered by something in the environment.  


Risk Factors

The risk factors for ulcerative colitis are:

  • Race – higher risk in Ashkenazi Jews, although highest risk is in the whites
  • Non-smokers or ex-smokers
  • Medication for cystic acne, although it can’t be clearly associated with this disease
  • Family history



Complications from ulcerative colitis can be:

  • in the digestive system
  • severe bleeding
  • joints
  • eyes
  • skin
  • loss of bone density
  • mouth ulcers
  • perforated colon
  • liver problems
  • blood clots
  • anemia
  • colon cancer