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Ulcerative colitis is inflammation of the lower end of your digestive system, including your large bowel and rectum.

Common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include frequent diarrhoea (which may be bloody), stomach aches and needing to go to the toilet a lot.

Ulcerative colitis is usually treated with medicines that reduce the inflammation in your digestive system. Surgery may be needed in severe cases.

It's not clear what causes ulcerative colitis. A possible cause is your immune system attacking your digestive system.

Read more on the NHS website.

Common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include frequent diarrhoea (which may be bloody), stomach aches and needing to go to the toilet a lot.

Symptoms of ulcerative colitis

The main symptoms of ulcerative colitis are:

You may also experience extreme tiredness (fatigue), loss of appetite and weight loss.

The severity of the symptoms varies, depending on how much of the rectum and colon is inflamed and how severe the inflammation is.

For some people, the condition has a significant impact on their everyday lives.

Read more on the NHS website.

Ulcerative colitis is usually treated with medicines that reduce the inflammation in your digestive system. Surgery may be needed in severe cases.

Medical treatments

Treatment for ulcerative colitis aims to relieve symptoms during a flare-up and prevent symptoms from returning (maintaining remission).

In most people, this is achieved by taking medicine, such as:

Mild to moderate flare-ups can usually be treated at home. But more severe flare-ups need to be treated in hospital.

If medicines are not effective at controlling your symptoms or your quality of life is significantly affected by your condition, surgery to remove your colon may be an option.

During surgery, your small intestine will either be diverted out of an opening in your abdomen (an ileostomy) or be used to create an internal pouch that's connected to your anus called an ileoanal pouch.

Read more on the NHS website.

It's not clear what causes ulcerative colitis. A possible cause is your immune system attacking your digestive system.

Read more on the NHS website.