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Ulcerative Colitis Risk Factors & Comprehensive Care

University Hospitals inflammatory bowel specialists have significant experience in ulcerative colitis (UC) diagnostics, management and treatment. Ulcerative colitis is identified when swelling and inflammation occur in the lining of your large intestine and your rectum. It is part of a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Ulcerative Colitis can range in severity and complexity – some individuals have mild UC while others have a more serious and complex disease. Because every patient is treated with an individualized plan, our gastrointestinal, or GI specialists provide personalized care, depending on their disease severity.

Advanced Approach to Managing Ulcerative Colitis

Every patient treated by the digestive health team receives the best quality care from our multidisciplinary approach to ulcerative colitis treatment. The key to improved care lies in our collaboration, communicating between specialists, so an entire team is a part of decisions for the management of each patient’s condition.

We offer a wide variety of leading-edge therapies to both control the disease and prevent complications. With advanced immunomodulator and biologic therapies available for ulcerative colitis, patients should expect a near normal daily life. These more advanced therapies control inflammation by decreasing your body’s immune response and target specific proteins identified with inflammation. Given as daily medications or injections, we’ll work together to determine the best course of treatment.

State-of-the-art infusion services to treat ulcerative colitis are available at UH Specialty Clinic Infusion Center in Warrensville Heights.

Our goal is to minimize disease-related ulcerative colitis symptoms and allow people to live well with this disease that can many times disrupt life.

Treating the Patient’s Overall Health with a Holistic Approach

In addition to advanced therapies, we believe in a holistic or whole-body approach to managing each patient’s health. Our ulcerative colitis team pays attention to the effect of short and long-term disease on overall health. This includes regular evaluations of the following:

  • Bone health
  • Eye health
  • Infections

Understanding Ulcerative Colitis Risk Factors

Several factors can contribute to your risk of ulcerative colitis, including what you can control such as diet and lifestyle and what you cannot control such as age and genetics. The most common risk factors for ulcerative colitis include:

  • Age: Ulcerative colitis usually begins before age 30 or people may develop UC at any age.
  • Race or ethnicity:Caucasians have the highest risk of UC although anyone of any race can get it. People of Ashkenazi Jewish descent have an even higher risk of UC.
  • Genetics: People with a family history of ulcerative colitis are at higher risk of UC (parent, sibling or child with UC).
  • Environmental factors: Reacting to substances within the environment such as bacteria or chemicals may trigger uncontrolled inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Diet and Lifestyle: While less common risk factors for ulcerative colitis, increased consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids may contribute to issues with digestive health. In addition, a sedentary lifestyle or smoking are also risk factors for overall health which contribute to your gastrointestinal health.