Understanding Ulcerative Colitis (UC)

What you should know about UC

ENTYVIO is for adults with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis when certain other medications have not worked well enough or cannot be tolerated.

Patient Portrayal

More than 1.2 million Americans are affected by ulcerative colitis.

Number of Americans affected by UC. UC generally affects both men and women in their mid-30s.

The causes of ulcerative colitis

It’s unclear what causes ulcerative colitis. Studies indicate that it may be a combination of genetics, your immune system, and the environment. Ulcerative colitis tends to run in families, although researchers have yet to understand a clear pattern of inheritance. Diet and stress may aggravate ulcerative colitis, but they do not cause the disease on their own.

How ulcerative colitis affects you

Ulcerative colitis is the result of an abnormal immune system response, during which your body mistakes certain bacteria and other materials in the intestine for foreign or invading substances. Your immune system then sends white blood cells into the intestines, where they create inflammation.

Normally, this would cause a temporary inflammation that would resolve itself. But with ulcerative colitis, researchers believe that once your immune system is "turned on," it doesn't know how to "properly turn off." As a result, chronic inflammation damages the intestine and causes the symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

Areas of GI tract affected by ulcerative colitis.

While both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are types of inflammatory bowel disease, the effects of ulcerative colitis are limited to the large intestine, which includes: rectum, descending colon, transverse colon, and ascending colon.

Unlike Crohn's disease, which can affect all layers of the bowel wall, ulcerative colitis affects only the innermost lining of the colon.

How is ulcerative colitis affecting your day-to-day?

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease, and some patients may experience their disease worsening over time.

It's important to understand how your condition is affecting you so you can explain it to your doctor. Use the doctor discussion guide to help you prepare for your discussion with your doctor.

UC treatment options

Learn about some of the treatment options for ulcerative colitis.

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