X-ray of the large intestine (colon) in chronic ulcerative colitis. Colitis is a general term for inflammation of the colon, symptoms of which include diarrhoea & abdominal pain. Ulcerative colitis involves the rectum as well as varying parts of the colon. Its cause is obscure; food allergies or an infective agent have been considered. Ulcerative colitis tends to begin in early adult life, progressing through periods of remission & relapses of varying severity. Attacks are treated with steroids (prednisolone), but recurrent or severe disease (with a risk of colonic cancer) may require surgery.
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