Hereditary Question about Your Kids Getting Ulcerative Colitis

Hello my name is Sally and I was diagnosed in 2008 with UC. I think I am finally on the correct site to post my thoughts and concerns.

Some more about Sally:

I was in the wine trade for many years and was in buying and selling wine. I did a lot of tasting too.
I have encountered huge stresses in my life and my UC came on after over a decade of these. I live in the UK and am British. I also lived in NZ for about 4 years.

Current Symptoms:

I am currently not in a flare and take Ayurvedic medicine daily plus vitamins and minerals and a probiotic .

Sally’s Story and her Hereditary Question about Ulcerative Colitis

My main reason for writing today is not about myself but about my son.
I am really concerned for him as he is 19 and has recently noticed tiny amounts of blood and loose stools over the past few weeks. He suffers with a lot of anxiety anyway and it seems to be worse when he worries.The doctor did a stool test and now he is being referred for I believe a colonoscopy with biopsy, I believe to rule out the chance of him having Ulcerative Colitis.

I just wanted to ask if anyone has any knowledge about children being affected if one parent has it?

My consultant believed mine was brought on by a very large amount of unusual stresses and I may have a weakness as, very long distance , but my grandmother’s sister had 4 boys, two of whom had Ulcerative Colitis.

My UC started in 2008. I lost my first son through medical negligence at the age of 7 years. My first son who also was very disabled, also suffered with a metabolic disease, & died at the doctors’ hands through dehydration.
I had a very unpleasant divorce and my ex husband was difficult to live with and very controlling. After losing my son and my marriage breaking down, i had the misfortune to meet a new man who turned out to be a monster. He was an alcoholic and abusive. It was whilst knowing him and being abused and having immense fear, that I developed Ulcerative Colitis.
I have battled with it trying most alternative therapies . I found acupuncture to be helpful. I didn’t like taking the drugs- I had a very adverse reaction to oral steroids when I was first in hospital, and now won’t take any steroids. I have been on mezavante and Pentasa. The pentasa and budesconide foam were quite helpful during a flare. The Ayurvedic tablets helped the most. I don’t eat wheat but I do eat spelt and other grains I am now cutting down a lot on alcohol and now only have the odd glass here and there. I eat organic mainly and eat a healthy diet most of the time.

What Sally Takes:

I think I have already covered the things I take. However, I also take glutamine Glutamine Powder (on Amazon) and a prebiotic (highly ranked probiotic/prebiotic from Amazon) when I am going down ill.
Tiredness and stress make me worse and I am a bit of a worrier which doesn’t help me.

written by Sally

submitted in the colitis venting area

35 thoughts on “Hereditary Question about Your Kids Getting Ulcerative Colitis”

  1. My daughter started off with IB symptoms and loose stools which she has had all her life. Then she started bleeding I paid to get her allergy tested and now she avoids the 4 things it came up with, wheat, lactose, yeast and eggs and she is absolutely fine. I believe she would have developed full blown colitis like me if she had not stopped eating the above things. I also give her a good probiotic every day

    1. Hello Nadia, I’m wondering if you had your daughter allergy tested with a naturopath doctor or an allergist? Wondering what path to take to have my daughter tested. Thank you!

  2. Not sure exactly what the question is but I hope you both feel better soon and things get under control. I was diagnosed at age 19 w uc. My mom was diagnosed with crohns in her 40s (took a while to diagnose). Bc we knew about my mom it was much easier to diagnose me.

  3. Hi Sally…I was diagnosed with UC when I was 13 yrs old. No one in my family, going back 2 generations, had UC or Crohns. did develop psoriasis in her later years. I mention that because psoriasis is aito-immune related…as is UC.

  4. Hi Sally, sorry to hear your story of stress. I have UC too, and it is definitely stress related. I have found the biggest help to my symptoms was change of lifestyle to a part time job. I looked into the inheritance of UC, and whilst I can’t find the study now, I remember there is a 1 in 5 chance of passing it on to our kids.
    I don’t know of any UC in my family, but it is something which people still choose not to talk about, probably much less in the past.
    Hope this is of some help

  5. Hello Sally, I am so sorry to hear about your UC and all you have been through and your obvious concerns for your son. From what I understand IBD is not hereditary as such, but can be considered more of an elevated chance (Pre-disposition) for close blood relatives. I am glad your son is being checked. My father had UC and other related conditions pertaining to his UC. I have got IBD as well as the related conditions also he had due to his IBD. My first flare was during an incredibly stressful period – exams at university. (Perhaps it was the same for my father), he was about the same age as I was when his UC first manifest and had a very pressured job. What does seem to be a factor (although not definitive) is extreme stress and how we process it. Perhaps your son internally deals with stresses as you do, and I do as my father did. I wish you both all the very best. BTW I was prescribed NATREN (UK) probiotics by a specialist I consulted with. They are very expensive but work better for me that the proprietary non-refrigerated ones more widely available especially when my flare is at its peak.

  6. Hi Sally, sorry to hear your painful journey. I can imagine that if your predisposition to stress/anxiety and your difficult circumstances have combined to affect your gut that, whether or not it’s hereditary your son may be affected for the same reasons. He has lived through some/all of what you have, even if it’s under the surface. I am keeping a weather eye on my younger son at the moment, he’s fine, but of similar temperament and possibly affected by diet too, lots of student carbs: pasta, bread, sugary stuff. I too am med-free currently and have gone to a sugar-free vegan diet to heal my gut.
    Best wishes, Andrea

  7. Hi Sally. I was diagnosed with UC 6 years ago but have come to realize that I had symptoms long before. I am allergic to dairy and have a pretty stressful life. My daughter is 18 and was diagnosed with UC a few years ago. Her diagnosis is now officially Crohns Colitis. She had severe allergies when born which have lessened but some still exist. Her skin can become rashy still for no apparent reason at all. She places a lot of stress on herself. My younger cousin was diagnosed with UC almost 20 years ago. Both my parents had autoimmune issues and thyroid issues run rampant in both my husband’s and my family. So I believe there is a broad connection. My son however who is 14 exhibits no signs but is allergic to nuts, peanuts, and shellfish so the autoimmune connection again. Hopefully he will not develop anything further. Not sure if that helps but hopefully it does a little. Good luck to your family. One other thing. It has been very difficult for me not to look at my triggers and automatically assume they are the same for my daughter. UC as you know is quite individual and it’s more helpful to her for me to continue to remember that.

  8. Thank you Sally for sharing your story. Even I’m on similar regime as you in terms of gluten free, organic food, Ayurvedic medicines, and Probiotics (VSL3). I believe my UC which started 3 years back is result of cumulative stress.

    What I know about hereditary in UC is that it may play a part but chances are very rare. Probability is higher if UC was before birth of your kids. From what you mentioned about your 19 year old son having minor symptoms may not be case of hereditary but similar situations of cumulative stress.

    Wish you are and your son best of health

  9. Sally,
    I felt compelled to share my point of view as I was diagnosed with UC at age 45 (7 years as a UCer with 2 years being in remission). I seemed to be the only member of my family with this condition…so I thought. My father had rheumatoid arthritis which is a cousin of UC (didn’t put two and two together until I did research once diagnosed). I believe he had a digestive condition yet he nor my mother talked about symptoms. I had severe eczema as a child. Until recently through ads, I have read eczema is a mask for inflammation. I feel I was predisposed to an auto-immune/inflammatory disease. The switch was there, it just needed to be turned on.

    I had the ‘perfect storm’ — I had a stressful time, going through peri-menopause and hormones going haywire. The switch turned on and stayed on. I do as much as I can to avoid ingesting any product which can trigger inflammation. I’m gluten-, lactose-, beef-free. Along with my every 8-week pharma (Remicade), I take vitamins, probiotic, and L-glutamine. Yoga has been a great way in which I’ve regained strength and relaxation.

    So to answer your question, I believe hereditary plays a part. If I had known then what I know now could I have avoided UC? I’m not sure I truly have an answer.

    I wish you and your son well.

  10. Hi Sally,

    First of all, I’m very sorry to hear that your son is experiencing these health issues, especially after all you have been through already.

    I think at this point the scientific/medical community is largely in agreement that there is a genetic component to IBD, in that individuals who are diagnosed with Crohn’s and UC are thought to have a genetic susceptibility to the disease. It is also believed that there are environmental and other personal immune system factors that cause the disease to be “turned on.” So, something like a period of increased stress could cause the emergence of the disease, but not be the actual cause in and of itself.

    Because you have UC, it is more likely that could also have some form of IBD since first-degree relatives are most likely to share the genetic component. I’m sure it is hard to think about your son having to go through any of the hardship you have faced from your diagnosis of UC, but, though every body is different, your experiences could help him figure out what works for him in managing UC.

    Wishing you both the best!

  11. Hi Sally! I was diagnosed at age 15 with UC and am almost 50 now. Both of my daughters have been diagnosed with UC. Both around the age of 19 at the time. I’ve always been told it isn’t hereditary, but whatever. lol Luckily, I have a great doctor who also treats them and theirs has never progressed to the point that mine did. It sounds like yours is under control now – I pray that your son has the same results!!

  12. Hello Sally,
    My father has UC, contracted it in his late 50’s, back then there was little knowledge of the disease, so his colon was removed. I contracted it around the age of 55. There is research as to UC being hereditary. Don’t know if the UK has homeopathic physicians but they certainly helped me.

  13. Dear Sally,

    I am so sorry to hear about your devastating life experiences. I hope you are now on a path of self-healing and will soon find peace. While I do not have children, my extended family on my father’s side is rife with UC or something similar, chrones, celiac, un-named IBD, etc. My dad’s sister had a severe case of it and at least one of her children. Many of my cousins and their children have it. We can trace it back as far as my father’s grandfather. While my siblings are thus far free of it, one nephew has symptoms. He also suffers with anxiety and panic attacks. All of us that have been gifted with this disease in my family also have a tendency to anxiety or nervous conditions. I’ve had intestinal issues as far back as I can remember, but did not experience a flare of bloody diarrhea and pain until I was in my late 30’s and helping my father take care of my mother who had cancer at the same time that I was thrown into a managerial position at work, and had gone back to school. I found my most and lasting relief by cutting out all grains, sugars, and dairy. All the meds I tried just made me worse. I take a probiotic and glutamine powder and a low dose sulfasalazine. I’ve recently started meditation and deep breathing exercises when I am stressed.

    Good luck to you and your son.


  14. Hi Sally. I don’t visit here often anymore but I do receive e-mail notifications so I read your story. I am sorry you have suffered so much. I was first diagnosed with UC in 2007. I have relatives who had this condition, an aunt who died from Crohn’s, an uncle and a nephew who had a colectomies, and a sister who has colitis. It sure seems to run in the family. I do not believe it is DNA however. I believe it is related to the gut bacteria that is shared amongst family members. You can read my story at I can also send you a free copy of my book. I cured myself with FMT. I have been symptom free for 4 years now and feel wonderful. You can do the procedure at home and it is easy and inexpensive and it works. I have moved on but I still like to help people so that my suffering was not in vain. Let me know if I can help and good luck!

  15. My personal belief is there is a hereditary component to this illness. My great grandmother had her colon removed way back when due to UC. My father had debilitating Chrones disease.
    I have UC & have been going through the worst flare ever in my life. I also have a daughter with Chrones that has to have infusions every 6 weeks in order to live a fairly normal life. And 2 other children with IBD.
    So It sure seems hereditary to me.

  16. Firstly, I just want to say thank you for your story and sharing, and I am sorry to hear about your son. I was diagnosed at age 15 with UC, (now 35) and certainly dealing with such things at a young age comes with its own set of unique issues.

    I want to comment on the hereditary factor, as that is what this post is in regards to. From the very first years of my diagnoses, I never really bought the ‘auto-immune’ theory. I have spent 20+ years researching etc. What I have to say may or may not come off as a sales pitch….it is not my intention to sell anything. I have been reading Adam’s awesome site for years and never commented, as I really I just have wanted to appreciate the community. However, when you start talking heredity and science- now I feel compelled to share.

    There are many theories out there regarding UC and Crohn’s, of course. many are aware of the MAP theory (Mycobacterium Avium P.) and it being the infectious cause of IBD. I wondered for so many years. Finally, a test was created. Only one lab in New Zealand has the technology to test for it… lacks a cell wall and its impossible to see under a regular microscope. Long story short, I tested positive for it. It’s more common For Crohns’ patients to test positive for it, although now many scientists believe colitis is perhaps just a different strain of it. I failed every treatment, until I began treating my UC as infectious. I refused to succumb to drugs for the rest of my life. Anyway, the point of sharing all this is that the science behind this shows not that the disease itself is hereditary, but that the genetic mutation for being susceptible to contracting MAP is hereditary. They have even discovered the exact DNA mutation. The science is all there. I wrote a report on all this. It has every resource possible for reading the history behind all this, the lab in which you can get tested, treatment options, and MD’s that aren’t stuck in old science who aware of the new information and are treating it appropriately, not by suppressing the immune system which makes it all worse. I am by no means being so bold as to say that every case of UC is infectious caused by MAP, perhaps there are different causes- but also perhaps not? When these diseases started growing epidemically, it was in the 60’s. Immunology became a fad at the time. If they didn’t know what caused a disease, they slapped the label of ‘auto-immune’ on it. Dr. Crohn knew all along that these diseases were infectious, but nobody believed him and he couldn’t prove it at the time. Its all well documented.

    So yes- your son more likely has the genetic mutation he got from you, to contract a bacteria that is in our dairy supply. Not just US dairy- dairy around the globe. If you are interested in reading my 25 page report on all this, my website is: Its 10 bucks. Hell, I’ll send it to anyone for free if they really want it. I’m now part of a movement just trying to bring awareness behind the new science that has come to light really in the past 5 years or so. Most people don’t know. Most doctors are clueless. I just want people to educate themselves and become aware of the possibilities. I’m going to shut up now, and hope Adam’s OK with this rant.

    I was sick for most of my life. Hospitalizations etc. I was a dance major in college. This disease destroyed my dancing career. But….I’m not sick anymore. I have more empathy for this disease than anyone could possibly understand.

    But one last thing, regarding your personal life etc. I was in an abusive relationship for years. i have had a high stress life and dealt with anxiety myself. What I came to understand, however, was that I attracted this “monster” into my life because he was just like my father. His frequency resonated with my body on very unconscious levels. I had to face all this. I had to accept responsibility for creating that scenario, and make better choices, manifest and attract different people. This made me stronger. I am not victim to abusive jerks anymore because well, I was never a victim in the first place. I was just learning how to love myself more deeply, to feel worthy of so much more. As we are all so worthy of magical, epic, deep deep love. Every day.

    Blessings to you and everyone on this awesome site.


  17. When I was first diagnosed in 1982…I was told it was not hereditary but familial. Meaning if someone in the family had it there was a possibility another family member could have it. I came to find out that my cousin who died at age 14 had it from the time she was an infant. She passed the day before they were going to remove her colon. My oldest daughter was diagnosed with Microscopic UC. Fortunately she doesn’t have full blown symptoms. No others thus far have it my family. However…my brother has joint issues and a doctor told him that I was a connecting link as I had an inflammatory disease. So thus again familial.

    Hope you all be in remission and possibly your son also has microscopic as does my daughter.

  18. Hi Sally! Thank you for sharing your story. I am sorry you have had some tumultuous times and hope things have turned the corner… my son was 12 when he started having symptoms(I was newly diagnosed with UC at that time) and he was diagnosed with Crohn’s. He had horrible diarrhea, uncontrollable bowel movements, and he stopped growing. We have other autoimmune diseases in our family but as far as I can find, we are the only 2 with IBD. My son was a very insecure and anxious child but seemed to grow out of that. I went through Hell divorcing his father(I also have 2 daughters with him) and in my second life I became a 911 dispatcher. My Gastro Dr can’t wait for me to retire, as like you said, being tired and stressed is the worst for us. Hope that helps and can you expound on what the Ayurvedic tablets you found helpful are? Both my son and I take Lialda and various supplements, including CBD oil(which for me, has turned my life around!) Take care!

  19. Dear Sally.. it sounds a Lot like my story.. stress is the worst and you need to address it..that goes for your son too.. if you have problems with it I think TFT will help. I think it is the tendency for stress that our children inherits.. and they also learn from our behaviour. You can also enherit the weakness in the gut, and for sure our children suffer that we have less good bacteria for every generation. For me the solution have been foodcombining and glutamine. Wish you the best.. Lea from Denmark.

  20. I have had UC for 2 years now. My mother also had UC. I don’t know if UC is passed in the genes or not. I am not in flare at the moment and I found that mastic gum did help the most. I take 4 Lialda a day. I would like to think that it is passed through the genetic material and some day maybe genetic alteration could keep people from getting this disease. I eat pretty much what I want to eat. It seems each case is different though.

  21. Good Morning Sally from Canada
    I too live with UC since I was 21 I am 58 now for many years I drank a herbal tea for my UC that a master herbalist made and watched what I ate etc. After a few very stressful jobs my UC became out of control and the tea didn’t even touch it anymore. It became so debilitating and I could not leave my home had to quit my job and go through several awful medications with gross side effects before I found Humira. It saved my life and gave me a quality of life again. There are some dude effects when I take it once a week but I can live with them. I too ear little to no wheat and m very mindful about nutrition. Spelt is actually has gluten in it and that is what seems to be bad for me. I also found Doctor Divi a medical doctor but most importantly a mind body spirit teacher and healer. There is so much research now on the brain and gut connection that I understand better and truly believe all those living with U C need to learn about. As it is now believed that our gut is our second brain. With that I learned tools for stress mainly meditation and true mindfulness. They are part of my daily medication and I took the training to be s mond body spirit teacher. You son may benefit from these kind of tools. I believe living with UC we don’t just have one medication but several and this does not have to be a pharmaceutical type. I also believe there are many combinations of wellness for each of us. I also stay up on research and Crohns and Colitis Canada have a research project called Gem going on right now that you may want to read. They have 5 k people that are relatives of family with crihns and they have already found some interesting evidence in who develops crohns or Colitis. In this study they tested all members to see if they have the bio makers that say they will get crohns. 70 have been diagnosed as having crohns in them. It’s super interesting and exciting work toward a cure. They also have many free online webinars. I take manybad I believe education is powerful too. Also I have a few people I know that take CB oil and hVevsuccess with this. In Canada we are in the process of being the second country in the world with country wide legal medical and recreational cannabis use and many people find success in taking this with expert advice.
    Google Doctor Divi Vancouver BC. She will be in the tv show called the Social this Thursday.
    I wish you and your son all the best. Working with the mind body and spirit together is essential I believe Also when I go to my yearly gastor appointments I also have a sheet of my successes and areas of concerns / questions to ask. You have to be prepared and your best advocate for yourself because we know ourself the best.
    Take good care and be well. A cure is coming one day as itch’s a huge disease in Candacabd many countries and growing fastest in children 10 and under and not found in under developed countries. Very puzzling.
    In kindness

  22. Hi Sally,
    My husband has UC and had surgery many years ago. He had a j pouch put in and is doing well. Our son got C diff after an overuse of antibiotics. They say, this triggered UC. My husband has kids from a previous marriage and his oldest just found out he has UC. There is a possibility it’s genetic but, I’m not a professional. Lots of love to you and your family.

  23. Hi Sally,

    I’m 31 years old, and my UC started about 7 years ago. I currently take Salofalk, but before that I was on Asacol and Pentasa (both of which gave me nasty and long lasting anxiety side effects).

    I don’t have kids, but from a hereditary standpoint I can tell you that my paternal grandfather had UC. My Dad has diverticulitis – but he struggled with bowel problems ever since I was a kid. And now I have UC. So I definitely think there’s some genetic component to who ends up with UC.

    I’ve personally struggled with anxiety and panic attacks since I have 17 – which is maybe why I ended up with UC decades before my grandfather did.

    I’m not sure if this helps at all, and I wish you and your son the best. It’s not easy having UC at any age, but when you’re young it’s hard to adjust your lifestyle to dealing with it especially when all you want to do is to be able to do what all your friends can do.


  24. I have 2 children with auto immune diseases. I absolutely believe genetics plays a huge role in immunity and food tolerance. My children that are blonde haired and blue eyes have the issues. UC and T1D. They both struggle with dairy, and could honestly do without wheat products.

  25. Hello
    I had UC
    My daughter, my neice and my great nephew has Ulcerative colitis
    I found out my grammas sister in 1890 had Ulcerative colitis and her daughter had UC
    They both died if UC as there was no treatment back then
    My gramma vividly remembered their symptoms
    My dr says its not genetic but is familiar

  26. I don’t have children, but I am the youngest of 5 kids.
    I was diagnosed with UC in 2011 at the age of 35. None of my siblings have UC or any other GI issues and neither of my parents have it. We have researched back as far as 3 generations on each side of my family (maternal and paternal) and cant find anyone with any history of IBS, UC, Crohns or any other GI distress condition. It’s very frustrating because almost all of my doctors believe it to be genetic. I definitely can relate to it being brought on by high periods of extreme stress because that’s what happened to me. I’ve been in remission since 2015 thanks to finally finding an amazing GI doc, an imuran/sulfasalazine combo, lifestyle changes including removing gluten, and learning to manage my stress. I was on years and years of high dose prednisone and humira and continuing to get sicker and sicker. Thank God I took a chance and left my original GI doc for someone who actually knew what they were doing. I’m sorry for all you’ve been through and I hope you find some answers and good care for your son.

  27. Hi, I was diagnosed with colitis at 40, although looking back I’d had symptoms and not questioned them for many years. My dad has Crohns which was diagnosed when he was 35, I am his only child. I am certain there is a genetic link. My children 16 year old boy and 18 year old girl are ok so far.

  28. Hi Sally, I have UC too. My son has IBS. My mom, and sister both have IBS.
    We all have had “nervous stomaches” all our lives.

  29. Hey Sally,

    I don’t have any information about the hereditary side of things, but I am sorry that you had to go through all that.

    I truly believe stress makes UC worse, especially for those that feel worry in their gut. I know it probably sounds crazy but I know when I had lots of pressure on me during my final year of uni I was stressed all the time and my UC went downhill, very fast. I also tend to be a worrier, it is a curse (most of the time).

    I hope you are doing better these days and your son gets some answers x

  30. Hello Sally. I am 65 and my colitis started when I was 18.My son who is 28 had his first bout with colitis at age 18. He had been going through a stressful time in his life when this happened. My colitis is under control with weekly humira shots. My son is taking colazol when is helping him. Good luck to you and your son.

  31. Both my Mother and myself have been diagnosed with UC. Very possibly, my great grand mother had it.
    My mother was diagnosed in her teens. I was diagnosed in my 20″s. My sister has diverticulitis.

  32. Hi Sally,

    I have a son who has UC and has had it since he was 14, he is now 31. No hereditary reasons for the development of the disease in his life. Nevertheless I wish to tell you that what IS inherited, is the sensitivity in the affected area. But more inherited, is the way of coping with life situations. He too takes it to his colon. This is learned behavior that should be unlearned, however possible. For some odd reason, this type of disease is best described as the attention one needs for coping with whatever situation one is going through. Taking the attention away from oneself and understanding that we are here to give, and to feel peace through giving has helped my son tremendously. He has Never taken medication of any type. He has ONLY taken supplements and a careful low carb diet, no red meat, no alcohol except for wine ( beer does NOT work with him).

    We first made sure there were no bad bacteria growing in his system. Then he took probiotics carefully, certain amino acids such as propionyl L- Carnitine, and threonine. Then he took optimal level vitamins and minerals. Specially vit D ti get him to 80 nm/ ml. The most important thing, is to keep the inflammation down and also to take Sulphuraphane and curcumin with a phospholipid carrier rather than piperine. There is more information I can give. Pease feel free to contact me, if this is of help to you. Trust God, he knows everything about you!

  33. Hi Sally
    I too am British and live in the UK. I also believe my UC was brought on by stress, my husband sounding similar to yours! So sorry to hear about your sons. I am doing okay at the moment. I just wanted to say that my dad had UC, although his came on at a later age than mine.Good luck to you and your son.

  34. We are a family with three generations of either UC, Crohn’s or IBS. There is definitely a hereditary tendency for these condtions. I have Crohn’s while two of my five children have have some form of IBD.
    All three of one of them has UC, while one of the two children of the other has Crohn’s. My nephew has IBS and his father(my brother), deceased, has colon cancer, uncertain as to whether he had IBD

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