Ulcerative Colitis: Causes and Risk Factors

The causes of ulcerative colitis are still unknown, but there are certain risk factors that influence the development of the illness.


In terms of genetic factors, research has identified dozens of genes that could result in a predisposition to develop the condition. This means that they do not directly cause ulcerative colitis, but they make you more susceptible to developing it.

With regard to environmental factors in ulcerative colitis, smoking seems to have a protective factor, but this factor remains unexplained and does not present an argument for encouraging smoking among patients with this condition.

Other factors are currently being studied, such as an imbalance in intestinal flora, diet and stress, which could contribute to triggering flare-ups.

Finally, as is the case with Crohn’s disease, it is suspected that ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune disease, which involves a reaction by the body resulting in the deregulation of intestinal flora.

Last updated: 05/08/2017

avatar Carenity Editorial Team

Author: Carenity Editorial Team, Editorial Team

The Carenity Editorial Team is made up of experienced editors and specialists in the healthcare field who aim to provide impartial and high quality information. Our editorial content is proofread, edited and... >> Learn more

Fact sheets

Ulcerative colitis on the forum

See the forum Ulcerative colitis

Newsfeed - Ulcerative colitis