Search the Health Library
Get the facts on diseases, conditions, tests and procedures.
I Want To...
Find a Doctor
Find a doctor at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center or Johns Hopkins Community Physicians.
I Want To...
Find Research Faculty
Enter the last name, specialty or keyword for your search below.
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease in which the inner lining of the large intestine and rectum become inflamed. Ulcerative colitis is characterized by diarrhea, abdominal pain and blood in the stool. The disease may vary in how much of the colon is affected, and it varies in severity as well.
Ulcerative Colitis: What You Need to Know
- Ulcerative colitis is similar to Crohn’s disease. An experienced gastroenterologist will be able to diagnose you accurately.
- Diarrhea, often with blood, is the main symptom of ulcerative colitis.
- Monitoring the frequency and severity of attacks can help diagnose ulcerative colitis.
- Many patients respond well to a course of medication. If medication does not provide relief, surgery is another treatment option.
Ulcerative colitis has many similarities to Crohn’s disease, another inflammatory bowel disease. They can be difficult to tell apart, although there are differences in the symptoms and the physiology of the disease.
Read a more in-depth article about ulcerative colitis, written by Johns Hopkins gastroenterologists, which details the anatomical description of the causes of ulcerative colitis.
Read our FAQs about ulcerative colitis.
Why choose Johns Hopkins Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology for ulcerative colitis?
Through a number of studies, researchers are examining the genetics behind Crohn’s disease, which will help in its treatment.Learn more about this research.