What is Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative Colitis is an autoimmune disease. In simple terms, when someone has UC, his or her body attacks the colon, thinking there is something wrong with it. It has similarities to Crohn’s disease. The main symptom of the disease is usually constant diarrhea mixed with blood, that worsens until treated. There are periods (usually called flare-ups) where the disease is active, and periods that are pretty much symptom-free. Ulcerative colitis occurs in 35–100 people for every 100,000 in the United States,or less than 0.1% of the population.
My Ulcerative Colitis Story
I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2005, during my sophomore year of college. I had been frequently ill during the semester before, and having sharp pains in my stomach. Eventually, I got the bloody diarrhea too. (Cute, huh? Thank goodness I was a resident assistant and had my own bathroom!) I went home and, after a series of blood work and a colonoscopy, got diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. It took several years to figure out what medications would help heal my body, and what I could eat without flaring up.
Today, my UC is relatively under control. I still have flare-ups, especially during really high-stress times in my life, but most can be managed with a higher dosage of my medication and do not require steroids anymore. Still, because it is an autoimmune disease, I tend to get sick easier than most people. A “24 hour flu” will last me a good 48 hours, and I seem to catch every cold that goes around. All in all, my daily living is not impacted too much. I’m grateful — some people have it much worse!
For more on my journey with Ulcerative Colitis:
On Living With Ulcerative Colitis: The Diagnosis
On Ulcerative Colitis: Weeks Following the Diagnosis
On Ulcerative Colitis: Health & Tact
On Ulcerative Colitis: It’s Part of Who I Am
For all of my posts that relate to Ulcerative Colitis, please head to the Living with Ulcerative Colitis category.
Resources for People With Crohn’s & Colitis
These are great places to go for more information about Crohn’s & Colitis. I frequent CCFA myself!
Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America
UC & Crohn’s: A Site for Teens
Team Challenge is the charity running program for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. They help athletes train for half marathons, century bike rides, and triathlons.
I love reading blogs written by people with Crohn’s & Colitis. Some talk about their disease a lot, some just a little, but it is really nice to know that someone else really gets it.
Ali on the Run
Crohn’s on Campus
Semi Colon Kind of Girl
Team Challenge Illinois Blog
Then Change It