Ulcerative Colitis & Bowel Health

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) distinguished by inflammation of the large intestine (rectum and colon). The innermost lining of the large intestine becomes inflamed, and ulcers may form on the surface. UC can also affect your eyes, skin and joints.

Inflammation plays a role in your ulcerative colitis symptoms

Ulcerative colitis inflammation may cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, fatigue, weight loss, and other symptoms that vary from person to person and from mild to severe. Symptoms may vary over time, depending on what part of the large intestine is inflamed and the severity of the inflammation. Because symptoms are different depending on the person, the way to assess what you consider a symptom flare- up is relative to what is “normal” for you.

Ulcerative Colitis symptoms can include:

  • Abdominal pain/discomfort
  • Blood or pus in stool
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent, recurring diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced appetite
  • Tenesmus: A sudden and constant feeling that you have to move your bowels

Ulcerative colitis is unpredictable and can be progressive (get worse). Over time, your symptoms may change in severity or change altogether. You may go through periods of remission—when you have few or no symptoms. Your symptoms may also come on suddenly, without warning.

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you experience a persistent change in your bowel habits or if you have any of the signs and symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. Although inflammatory bowel disease usually isn't fatal, it's a serious disease that, in some cases, may cause life-threatening complications.

References

1. “Learn About the Common Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis.” Crohn's and Colitis, www.crohnsandcolitis.com/ulcerative-colitis/symptoms.

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