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    Ulcerative Colitis - What Happens

    Ulcerative colitis may be mild, moderate, or severe.

    Most people have periods of remission (when the condition is not active) that may last up to several years. These periods are interrupted by occasional flare-ups of moderate symptoms. About 5 to 10 out of 100 people who have ulcerative colitis have symptoms all the time.1

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    What Is Ulcerative Colitis?

    Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a disease that affects your large intestine, or colon. It causes irritation and swelling called inflammation. Eventually that leads to sores called ulcers in the lining there. UC is a type of inflammatory bowel disease, but it’s different from other diseases with similar symptoms, like Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome. There’s no cure yet, and people usually have symptom flare-ups off and on for life. The right treatments can help you keep a handle on the...

    Read the What Is Ulcerative Colitis? article > >

    Children may have the same symptoms that adults have. Also, children with the disease may grow more slowly than normal and go through puberty later than expected.

    Complications and long-term effects

    Problems from ulcerative colitis can include:

    Irritable bowel syndrome

    Some people who have ulcerative colitis also have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It isn't as serious as ulcerative colitis. IBS causes belly pain along with diarrhea or constipation.

    Pregnancy and ulcerative colitis

    Most women with ulcerative colitis can have a normal pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby. Symptoms may be worse during the first 3 months of pregnancy. Some medicines to treat the disease can be used during pregnancy.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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