NICE releases guideline for ulcerative colitis

NEW clinical guidelines should eliminate the current "post code lottery" in the treatment of ulcerative colitis, according to NICE.

Ulcerative colitis: Management in adults, children and young people aims to provide doctors clear and consistent guidance on how to achieve remission in this painful and incurable disease, and how to assess the need for surgery in those who are admitted to hospital with severe disease.

 An estimated 146,000 people in the UK live with ulcerative colitis which can lead to other serious conditions such as anaemia and which also carries an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Until now there has been little guidance to help doctors care for their patients with this condition, leading to regional differences in treatment.

Professor Mark Baker, Director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at NICE said: "Ulcerative Colitis is a chronic condition that can cause much distress. It can develop at any age, but teenagers and young people between the ages of 15 and 25 are most susceptible. There is no cure but it is possible to control the symptoms for long periods of time, leaving those who suffer able to live life to the full as much as possible."