Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease.
Ulcerative colitis affects the innermost lining of your large intestine, also called the colon, and rectum.
The exact cause of ulcerative colitis remains unknown. One possible cause is an immune system malfunction and hereditary predisposition.
Previously, diet and stress were suspected. However, researchers now know that these factors may aggravate but don't cause ulcerative colitis.
Possible complications of ulcerative colitis include:
- Severe bleeding
- Severe dehydration
- A rapidly swelling colon
- Colon perforation
- Increased risk of blood clots in veins and arteries
- Inflammation of the skin, joints and eyes
- An increased risk of colon cancer