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5-ASA
An anti-inflammatory drug that acts on the lining of the colon to reduce inflammation. Also known as 5-aminosalicylic acid or mesalamine.

Abdominal Pain
A common symptom of ulcerative colitis. May also be described as cramping in the lower abdominal region. Can vary in intensity and duration.

Anemia
Any condition in which the number of red blood cells is lower than normal. Some people with ulcerative colitis may have anemia due to loss of blood in the stool.

Biopsy
A tissue sample removed from the body for microscopic examination, usually to establish a diagnosis.

Colectomy
A surgery in which all or part of the colon is removed.

Colon
Part of the large intestine.

Colonoscopy
An exam in which a narrow, flexible tube is inserted into the large intestine by way of the anus, allowing a doctor to examine the inside of the large intestine.

Corticosteroids
A class of steroids that is used to reduce inflammation in UC.

Cramping
A painful muscle contraction.

Diarrhea
Watery or unformed bowel movements.

Fever
A rise in the temperature of the body to over 100° F (37.8° C).

Flare or Flare-up
A return or worsening of ulcerative colitis symptoms.

Gastroenterologist
A doctor who specializes in diseases of the digestive tract.

Immune System
The complex group of organs and cells that protects the body against infection and disease.

Immunosuppressants
An immunosuppressant is a drug that suppresses/prevents an immune response.

Inflammation
The body's response to injury or infection, which may include pain, swelling, redness, and heat.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
A disease characterized by inflammation in parts of the digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are major types of IBD.

Large Intestine
The broad, shorter part of the intestine, consisting mainly of the colon and rectum, which absorbs water from digested material and processes waste.

Malnutrition
Any disease-promoting condition arising from inadequate or excessive or unbalanced intake of nutrients.

Mesalamine
An anti-inflammatory drug that acts on the lining of the colon to reduce inflammation. Also known as 5-aminosalicylic acid, or 5-ASA.

Mucus
A thick fluid produced by the glands or membranes that line certain organs of the body.

Parasite (Parasitic)
An organism that lives in another organism, called the host, while obtaining benefits from the host, such as nourishment.

Perforation
A hole that occurs in the body sometimes as part of a disease process. In ulcerative colitis the colon can sometimes perforate.

Rectum
The last part of the digestive tract, between the colon and the anus.

Remission
The period of time when evidence of a disease is no longer present.

Sigmoidoscopy
An exam that's similar to a colonoscopy, but limited to the lower part of the large intestine.

Ulcerative Colitis (UC)
A type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in which the inner lining of the rectum and part (or all) of the colon can be affected by inflammation.