Knowing as much as you can about ulcerative colitis can help you manage the challenges and learn to live well. The following resources can help you with information, support and advice from people just like you.

There is a lot more information available about UC, including brochure, tips, applications and downloadable resources.


Bad Gut is the Website of the Gastrointestinal Society, a Canadian charity committed to increasing awareness, providing education and funding research regarding gastrointestinal diseases and disorders. Programs and services include patient information pamphlets, lectures and community outreach programs.


Crohn’s and Colitis Canada (CCC)

Telephone: 416-920-5035, 1-800-387-1479

Founded in 1974, the CCC has grown to become a world leader in IBD research funding. The CCC is also committed to education and to raising public awareness about Crohn’s disease and UC.

CCC provides brochures, holds education events and information sessions on IBD, offering useful health tips, inspirational profiles and Q&As

For articles on disease management and inspiring stories, subscribe to the CCC’s electronic newsletter “Talk about GUTS!” available at

For events and information about UC in your region, go to:


Canadian Digestive Health Foundation (CDHF)

Telephone: 905-847-2002

The CDHF provides expert advice and compassionate support to Canadians suffering from digestive disorders. Directly connected to Canada’s leading digestive health experts, physicians and scientists, the CDHF provides practical, science-based and up-to-date information about digestive health and disease.


Gut Inspired

Gut Inspired is a group of Canadians living with Crohn’s disease and UC who have joined forces to increase the awareness of IBD in Canada. Gut Inspired was developed by patients for patients to promote acceptance and voice the presence of IBD in Canada.


Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA)

Telephone: 1-800-932-2423

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to finding the cures for Crohn’s disease and UC. The CCFA’s mission is to cure Crohn’s disease and UC, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. The CCFA funds cutting-edge research, provides educational workshops and programs, and publishes the scientific journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases to enable health professionals to keep abreast of this rapidly growing field.

“GoHere” Washroom Access Initiative

The GoHere Washroom Access Initiative is a program that increases washroom access for people living with ulcerative colitis, and/or other medical conditions related to incontinence. Crohn’s and Colitis Canada has launched this program that encourages businesses across Canada to open their washrooms and play an important role in building accessible communities and improving lives. To learn more about this initiative, please visit the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada website at:

For Young People with UC


Reach Out for Youth with Ileitis and Colitis, Inc.

Email: reachoutforyouth

Reach Out for Youth with Ileitis and Colitis, Inc. is a non-profit support organization dedicated to assisting families whose children have IBD. The group’s goals include providing educational materials and emotional support to affected individuals and their families, and organizing fundraising efforts to promote research into the causes and treatment of IBD. A hotline offers interested individuals the opportunity to communicate on a one-to-one basis, especially when acute symptoms are present.


United Ostomy Association of Canada Inc.


The United Ostomy Association of Canada Inc. is a volunteer-based organization dedicated to assisting all persons facing life with gastrointestinal or urinary diversions by providing emotional support, experienced and practical help, instructional and informational services through its membership, to the family unit, associated caregivers and the general public.







There are many books available on living with UC. These include diet guides, cookbooks and coping strategies.

Read On

Coping Successfully with Ulcerative Colitis

Peter Cartwright. Sheldon Press. September 2004.

This book was written for people with UC, as well as their friends and family members. It provides clear and readable information about UC that explains how to reduce its effects on daily life and describes the potential of new treatments.

Crohn’s and Colitis Diet Guide

Dr. A. Hillary Steinhart & Julie Cepo. Mount Sinai Hospital.

Diet is a huge priority for anyone living with Crohn’s disease or UC. This book provides guidelines regarding specific foods that might cause problems, as well as delicious and nutritious recipes.

Crohn’s and Colitis: Understanding and Managing IBD

Dr. A. Hillary Steinhart. Mount Sinai Hospital.

This new edition features new content based on the most current evidence from the most reputable sources and follows new standards of practice for diagnosis and treatment. This includes information on the possible underlying causes, clinical features and effective treatments of Crohn’s disease and UC.

Eating Right for a Bad Gut

James Scala. Plume. March 2000.

This dietary plan has been proven to help inflammatory bowel disease go into remission. This program offers relief from the pain and embarrassment of living with these chronic illnesses while providing reassuring step-by-step guidance on:

  • Developing a personal testing program
  • Identifying “safe” foods
  • Fitness and stress-reduction techniques
  • Dietary and vitamin supplements

How to Cook for Crohn’s and Colitis

Brenda Roscher. SourceBooks.

This book provides sound nutritional advice and outlines the unique dietary needs of people with IBD, showing how to incorporate this information to make healthy choices about which foods to eat. Includes more than 200 healthy, delicious recipes the whole family will love.

IBD Self-Management: The AGA Guide to Crohn’s Disease and Colitis

Sunanda V. Kane. AGA Press. 2010.

Vetted by the American Gastroenterological Association, this book offers expert advice on all aspects of living with IBD. Readers learn cutting-edge information about symptoms and symptom management; use of medications and surgery; the role of nutrition, supplements and specific foods and diets; IBD complications; how to increase fertility and have a healthy pregnancy; and other ways that IBD affects people’s lives.

Living With Crohn’s Disease

Dr. Joan Gomez. Sheldon Press.

This book looks at Crohn’s disease and UC, explaining what they are, who suffers from them, diagnosis, treatments (including side effects), day-to-day management and self-help.

Living Well with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Self-Management Handbook for Patients & Families with IBD

Wallace Crandall, MD; Kevin A. Hommel, PhD; and Maria E. Perez, DO (Eds). Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre. 2011.

The result of collaboration between pediatric IBD experts at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (Columbus, OH) and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (Cincinnati, OH), this handbook combines comprehensive clinical knowledge with practical tips and suggestions from parents and kids who are living with IBD. It is also a companion and guide for those who are living with IBD and want to participate more actively in their own care.

The Culinary Couple’s Creative Colitis Cookbook

Denise & Ross Weale. November 2002.

This pocket-sized cookbook was created by a couple with UC in their family who are also culinary school graduates. It offers 100 easily prepared, low-fibre, non-dairy recipes for people with IBD, UC and Crohn’s disease.

Your Child with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Family Guide for Caregiving

Maria Olivia-Henker, MD; David Ziring MD; and Athos Bousvaros (Eds). Johns Hopkins Press Health Book. June 2010.

In this book, an expert team of pediatric gastroenterologists explains the symptoms, diagnoses and treatments to help parents and children cope with the challenges of IBD. The book also provides parents with practical advice on how to tell their children about their IBD and discusses the challenges children may face at school and in their social lives, especially as they grow older. Additional information includes IBD medications, complementary treatments and further reading.


Confused by some of these terms?
Read on…


Adapted from Stedman’s Medical Dictionary

Starting suddenly. Acute often also means an illness that only lasts a short amount of time and may progress quickly and need immediate care.
These drugs help control inflammation. Unless the UC symptoms are severe, people are usually first treated with 5-ASAs. Depending on which parts of the colon and rectum are affected by UC, 5-ASAs can be given orally, through a rectal suppository or through an enema. Side effects include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea and headache.
The opening of the rectum to the outside of the body.
Barium enema
A series of x-rays of the lower intestine (colon) and rectum. The patient is first given an enema of a white, chalky solution that contains barium. The barium outlines the intestines on the x-rays. These x-rays permit the detection of colon and rectal abnormalities.
These drugs target and block molecules involved in inflammation and are used in moderate to severe UC. They are usually prescribed for people who do not respond to, or cannot tolerate other UC medications. Side effects may include toxicity and increased risk of infections, particularly tuberculosis.
In medicine, lasting a long time. Chronic diseases are in contrast to those that are acute (abrupt, sharp and brief).
Crohn’s disease
A chronic inflammatory disease primarily involving the small and large intestines, but which can affect other parts of the digestive system as well.
Colectomy (also called proctocolectomy)
Surgery during which all or part of the colon (also called the large intestine) is removed. After this surgery, patients wear a bag over an opening in the abdomen to collect stool.
Inflammation of the large intestine (the colon). There are many forms of colitis, including ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, pseudomembranous and spastic.
The large intestine. The colon removes water from digested food and moves solid waste, called stool, to the rectum where it leaves the body through the anus.
A colonoscopy is a procedure in which a small camera is passed through the rectum into the colon to check for signs and symptoms of conditions or disease.
Corticosteroids (steroids)
Corticosteroids reduce inflammation. They are usually used for more severe UC or those who have not responded to 5-ASAs. They can be given orally, intravenously, through an enema, a rectal foam or a suppository, depending on which parts of the colon and rectum are affected. Side effects include weight gain, acne, facial hair, hypertension, diabetes, mood swings, loss of bone mass and an increased risk of infection.
Distal colitis
Distal colitis is limited to below the descending colon and the rectum. With distal colitis, topical medications such as enemas may be used.
During an enema, a solution is introduced into the rectum to cause a bowel movement or to deliver medications.
Extensive colitis
Extensive colitis extends beyond the descending colon.
Periods when UC symptoms are present. In most people with UC, periods of flares are followed by periods of remission, when symptoms go away, often for extended periods of time.
Ileoanal anastomosis (also known as pouch surgery)
A surgical procedure in which a surgeon constructs a pouch from the end of the small intestine and attaches it directly to the anus. This eliminates the need to wear a “bag” and allows waste to be expelled more normally.
An ileostomy is an operation that attaches the ileum to an opening in the abdomen. An ostomy pouch is attached to this opening to collect stool. A specially trained nurse will teach the person how to clean, care for and change the pouch.
The ileum is the final section of the small intestine, just before the colon.
These medicines suppress the immune system. They may be used for people who do not respond to 5-ASAs. Immunosuppressants are given orally. Side effects include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, pancreatitis, hepatitis, a reduced white blood cell count and an increased risk of infection.
Inflammatory bowel disease
A group of chronic intestinal diseases characterized by inflammation of the bowel – the large or small intestine. The most common types of inflammatory bowel disease are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Inflammatory response
A response by the body to disease and injury, characterized by signs of pain, heat, redness and swelling.
Left-sided colitis
In this form of UC, inflammation extends from the rectum up through the sigmoid and descending colon.
An ostomy is a surgically created opening in the abdomen for the discharge of body waste.
A form of UC that involves the entire colon (the large intestine).
A form of UC that involves inflammation of the anus and rectum.
A form of UC that involves the rectum and the lower end of the colon, known as the sigmoid colon.
Rectal suppository
A rectal suppository is a type of drug delivery system that is inserted into the rectum.
The last six to eight inches of the large intestine. The rectum stores solid waste until it leaves the body through the anus.
The return of signs and symptoms of a disease after a period of remission. In UC, this is often referred to as a “flare” or flare-up.
A disappearance of the signs and symptoms of disease. When this happens, the disease is said to be “in remission.” A remission can be temporary or permanent.
Inspection of the rectum and lower colon using a thin, lighted tube called a sigmoidoscope. Samples of tissue or cells may be collected for examination under a microscope. Also called proctosigmoidoscopy.
Steroids (also known as glucocorticoids)
See Corticosteroids.
Ulcerative colitis (UC)
A disease that causes long-lasting inflammation of the large intestine (the colon). The cause is unknown.
Ulcerative proctitis
A form of ulcerative colitis in which inflammation is confined to the area closest to the rectum. This tends to be the mildest form of the disease.
A microorganism smaller than a bacterium that cannot grow or reproduce apart from a living cell. A virus invades living cells and uses them to keep itself alive and to replicate itself.