• Ulcerative colitis is an unpredictable disease. People with ulcerative colitis experience flare-ups of symptoms, also called attacks (or relapses if they happen more than once), followed by long periods of time, often weeks to months, when the symptoms go away, also called remissions. Everyone's experience with ulcerative colitis is different.

  • Biologics Biologic response modifiers, or biologics, are a group of medications for ulcerative colitis. The following biologics are available in Canada treat ulcerative colitis: infliximab (Remicade®) Biologics used to treat ulcerative colitis work by binding to and inactivating a molecule called tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha or TNF-α).

  • People with ulcerative colitis are at risk of malnutrition for a variety of reasons: When symptoms are severe, people don't feel like eating. Diarrhea makes food move faster out of the body, so there's less time for nutrients to be absorbed. Ulcerative colitis can damage the intestinal walls, which reduces the body's ability to absorb nutrients.

  • Certain lifestyle choices can help control the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Watch what you eat: Certain foods and drinks can aggravate your symptoms, so it's important to recognize and eliminate these from your diet. Try limiting high-fat foods, since your small intestine may not be able to digest or absorb fat (fat passing through your intestines can worsen diarrhea).

  • Surgery provides a cure for ulcerative colitis by removing the affected area of the colon. But surgery is not for everyone - it comes with risks, and after surgery you may need to wear a bag outside the body to collect solid waste. For this reason, surgery is usually only recommended for: people with severe ulcerative colitis where other treatment options don't work people who develop colorectal cancer people experiencing severe bleeding related to ulcerative colitis people with toxic megacolon (see How do I know if I have ulcerative colitis for more information) About 1 in 3 people with ulcerative colitis will eventually treat it with surgery.

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