Ulcerative colitis causes chronic inflammation of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. When the disease flares up, you suffer bouts of abdominal cramps, diarrhea and rectal bleeding. There is no cure, but medications can reduce inflammation and ease your symptoms, sometimes for long periods of remission. Surgery is an option when medications don't work or the risk of cancer is great.
Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are the two most common types of inflammatory bowel disease.
Why choose Mayo Clinic
- Experience. Each year, Mayo Clinic digestive disease specialists diagnose and treat more than 3,000 adults and children who have ulcerative colitis.
- Accurate diagnosis. An accurate diagnosis is crucial. You have access to the latest imaging technology to pinpoint the extent and severity of bowel inflammation. Mayo radiologists helped develop and refine CT and MR enterography. Mayo gastroenterologists are experts at colonoscopies, including specialized techniques such as chromoendoscopy, and Mayo pathologists are skilled at identifying all the kinds of bowel diseases.
- Team approach. Treating ulcerative colitis involves specialists in digestive diseases (gastroenterology), surgery, radiology, pathology and nutrition. Mayo Clinic specialists work together to ensure that you receive all the expertise needed to solve your problem.
- Time for you. Ulcerative colitis affects you emotionally as well as physically. Mayo Clinic doctors take the time to listen to you, to explain your options and answer your questions.
- Efficient care. In Mayo's efficient system, testing can be completed in several days, so that at the end of your visit, you have answers to your questions and are ready to begin treatment.
- Research. Mayo Clinic patients have access to clinical trials of new treatments and diagnostic tools for ulcerative colitis.
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., ranks No. 1 for digestive disorders in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., are ranked high performing for digestive disorders by U.S. News & World Report.
Read more about ulcerative colitis.