Ulcerative Colitis

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Ulcerative Colitis is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Synonyms

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

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.

Resources

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
22100 Gratiot Ave.
Eastpointe, MI 48021
Tel: (586)776-3900
Fax: (586)776-3903
Tel: (800)598-4668
Email: aarda@aarda.org
Internet: http://www.aarda.org/

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
Internet: http://www.ccfa.org

NIH/National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases
Office of Communications & Public Liaison
Bldg 31, Rm 9A06
31 Center Drive, MSC 2560
Bethesda, MD 20892-2560
Tel: (301)496-3583
Email: NDDIC@info.niddk.nih.gov
Internet: http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/

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
Internet: http://www.iffgd.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
Internet: http://www.girf.org

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

Reach Out for Youth with Ileitis and Colitis, Inc.
PO Box 857
Bellmore, NY 11710
USA
Tel: (631)293-3102
Email: info@reachoutforyouth.org
Internet: http://www.reachoutforyouth.org

Erythema Nodosum Yahoo Support Group
Internet: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/erythema_nodosum_Group/

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
TDD: (888)205-3223
Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

Madisons Foundation
PO Box 241956
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tel: (310)264-0826
Fax: (310)264-4766
Email: getinfo@madisonsfoundation.org
Internet: http://www.madisonsfoundation.org

Autoimmune Information Network, Inc.
PO Box 4121
Brick, NJ 08723
Fax: (732)543-7285
Email: autoimmunehelp@aol.com

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

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

AutoImmunity Community
Email: moderator@autoimmunitycommunity.org
Internet: http://www.autoimmunitycommunity.org

CORE
3 St. Andrews Place
London, NW1 4LB
United Kingdom
Tel: 02074860341
Fax: 02072242012
Email: info@corecharity.org.uk
Internet: http://www.corecharity.org.uk

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, 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. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

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.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  11/5/2012
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