Donate to Ulcerative Colitis Research, Patient Care and Education

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition caused by inflammation that affects the large intestine (colon) and rectum. Mostly diagnosed before the age of 35, both men and women are equally susceptible. Thousands of people live with ulcerative colitis, significantly affecting their quality of life, and the number continues to grow. For this reason, the need for further research is significant. With your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will help scientists at Northwestern Medicine to advance research aimed at finding a cure for ulcerative colitis, as well as research focused on the development of innovative treatments for patients diagnosed with this painful condition.

About half of all patients with ulcerative colitis experience mild symptoms, which can vary from person to person. Some people have symptoms every few months, while some have them all the time. People suffering from ulcerative colitis often experience cramping, abdominal pain (especially in the lower abdomen), bloody diarrhea, waking up from sleep to have bowel movements, loss of appetite, weight loss and low energy.

While there is no cure for ulcerative colitis,  the right treatment can provide significant relief.  When you contribute to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will help physicians at Northwestern Medicine to detect, diagnose, and effectively treat this challenging condition. Our physicians–including gastroenterologists, interventional endoscopists and others–collaborate closely with surgeons, psychologists and dietitians, in order to provide patients affected by ulcerative colitis with a multidisciplinary approach to care. 

Current treatment approaches include:

  • Medication— to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Surgery— When medical therapy is not enough and the condition worsens, surgery may be considered.
  • Supplements— It is recommended to follow a diet that includes vitamin D, calcium and other vitamins and minerals.
  • Diet— Some foods, alcohol, and hot spices may provoke symptoms. Your dietitian will help you identify what causes it and suggest avoiding foods that aggravate the symptoms.
  • Quitting smoking
  • Manage stress— Relaxation exercises and biofeedback can help manage responses to stress.

Some of the medications that have been used to treat ulcerative colitis in the past have been removed or restricted from the market, because they caused other complications, including cardiac risks. To customize treatment approaches for every patient, specialists at Northwestern Medicine have begun to incorporate mind-body therapies into patients’ treatment plans when appropriate. Studies have shown that mind-body techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and hypnosis, help to reduce symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will help to advance studies of mind-body techniques as well as other means of treating ulcerative colitis. 

Ulcerative Colitis Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

By making a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation in support of ulcerative colitis research and care at Northwestern Medicine, you will help scientists and physicians to  make new discoveries and to develop additional, promising means of treatment for ulcerative colitis. Your generosity will bring comfort, hope and improved quality of life to many people affected by ulcerative colitis.

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