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Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a long-term inflammatory disease of the lining of the rectum (back passage), sometimes it spreads to the lower part of the colon (large bowel) on your left hand side (distal colitis) In a few people it spreads to the entire colon (pancolitis).

Symptoms are usually intermittent with many people having few or no symptoms between attacks. The severity and frequency of attacks varies due to the extent of the disease. Ulcers develop on the lining of the intestine, which may bleed and the inflammation causes symptoms of diarrhoea. During attacks symptoms may include; diarrhoea, with blood and mucus; abdominal pain; tiredness; fever; poor appetite and weight loss. The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown.

It most often it starts between ages 15 and 40, but can occur at any age. It affects men and women equally.