Most individuals with ulcerative colitis only experience mild symptoms, which can still be painful and embarrassing. The most common symptoms include:
- Pain or cramping – Most individuals experience painful cramping in the abdomen.
- Persistent diarrhea – Individuals with ulcerative colitis often have loose, watery stool and an urgent need to use the restroom.
- Rectal pain and bleeding – Inflammation, scarring and ulcers can cause bleeding from the anus.
- Anemia and fatigue – Individuals with ulcerative colitis may also develop anemia, which occurs when the body’s iron levels become low.
Other symptoms of ulcerative colitis disease may include:
- Loss of appetite – An upset stomach and stress can make it difficult and unappealing to eat.
- Weight loss – Frequent diarrhea and lack of appetite can lead to unintended weight loss.
- Inability to pass stool – Despite an urge to have a bowel movement, individuals with ulcerative colitis are sometimes unable to pass stool.
If you experience any symptoms of ulcerative colitis disease, schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist.
Request an appointment with Temple Health today.
Flare-Ups of Ulcerative Colitis
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis can come and go. A flare-up is a return of symptoms after a “remission,” or period of time with no symptoms. Flare-ups can last anywhere from one to three days or in severe cases three to four weeks. Be sure to contact your gastroenterologist if you experience flare-up symptoms for more than 48 hours.
Symptoms of Flare-Ups
Individuals may experience a wide range of symptoms during ulcerative colitis flares, including:
- Urgent bowel movements
- Belly pain
- Weight loss
Causes of Flare-Ups
Triggers for a flare-up of ulcerative colitis can vary across individuals, and may include:
- Foods that irritate your stomach
- Missed medication
- Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, including aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen
Learn effective ways to manage flare-ups.