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Ulcerative Colitis Overview

Written by sshowalter.

Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease are the two forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Though the two diseases are similar in symptomatology, crohn’s disease affects any part of the entire digestive tract (and may have patches of unaffected parts throughout) while ulcerative colitis affects only the colon and possibly the rectum. On a microscopic level, crohn’s disease can also affect the entire thickness of the tubular wall of the digestive system while ulcerative colitis only affects the inner most layer, by way of ulcers and open sores, of the mulcerative colitisosal lining. A heightened inflammatory response exacerbates these wounds in the mulcerative colitisosal lining and causes symptoms noticeable to the individual.

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Incidence and Prevalence

The annual incidence rate, indicating how many people are newly diagnosed with ulcerative colitis each year, is between 10.4 and 12 cases per 100,000 people. In the United States, there are anywhere between 35-100 people per 100,000 living with Ulcerative Colitis, so the prevalence is approximately 0.05% of the population.1 That may not seem like much, but it is estimated that as many as 1 million people have been diagnosed.2

The sections that follow synthesize current research and are the designed to help you to understand the disease and how you might treat the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Traditional medical methods along with integrative natural treatments are explored and near the end of the paper we have presented some ideas as possible next steps in your healing process. During this time of confusion, as Francis Bacon stated, “Knowledge is power.”


  1. Le, Tri H. MD. (2010, March 17). Ulcerative Colitis: Introduction. eMedicine from WebMD. Retrieved March 30, 2010, from
  2. Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. (2009) Diet and Nutrition. Retrieved April 1, 2010 from

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