Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic disease that causes inflammation and ulcers (open sores) in the innermost layers of the large intestine. Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the general name for diseases that cause inflammation in the intestines. In ulcerative colitis, swelling typically occurs in the rectum and lower colon, but the inflammation can spread throughout the entire colon. The ulcers bleed and produce pus and mucus, and the inflammation causes the colon to empty frequently, resulting in diarrhea.

Ulcertative colitis is a rare, but serious disease that affects 50 out of every 100,000 people in the United States. Although the condition most commonly affects those between the ages of 15 and 35, children and older adults may also develop the disease. Ulcerative colitis occurs five times more frequently in those with a Jewish heritage than it does in the general population. Although most people with ulcerative colitis can be successfully treated without surgery, roughly 25% will need a colectomy (surgical removal of the colon).

Signs and Symptoms

The most common signs and symptoms of ulcerative colitis include abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. The symptoms can range from mild to severe and may come on either very suddenly or more gradually.

Other common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:

  • Frequent, even continuous diarrhea
  • Bloody stool
  • Urgent desire to defecate
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • High fever
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Weight loss
  • Anemia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Joint aches

People with ulcerative colitis are at increased risk for malnutrition. ulcerative colitis can also cause a host of other problems, including arthritis, eye infections, liver disease, skin rashes, blood clots, or gallstones. Although it is not clear why such problems occur outside the colon, some researchers speculate that they may be linked to a faulty immune response.


There are many theories regarding the cause of ulcerative colitis, but none have been proven. The most likely theory is that ulcerative colitis is caused by a variety of factors ranging from genetics, faulty immune system reactions, stress, environmental influences, and even diet. For example, some people are genetically at risk for ulcerative colitis (it runs in their family), and an infection or other toxin may stimulate inflammation of the large intestine. In some cases, stressful events or sensitivities to certain foods may trigger symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

Integrative Medicine Treatment Options

We combine the best of conventional medicine with the best of complementary and alternative therapies to give you optimal results.

Here are some options we use at Alliance Integrative Medicine LOCATED IN Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal Therapies, Supplements & Medication
  • Energy Healing

Our ulcerative colitis patients come to us from Indian Hill, Hyde Park, Loveland, Westchester/Liberty Township and Mason as well as Blue Ash, Finneytown, Reading, Springdale, Terrace Park and from all over the U.S.