Font Size

Ulcerative Colitis (cont.)

Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms

Common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include the following:

  • Frequent loose bowel movements with or without blood
  • Urgency to have a bowel movement (tenemus) and bowel incontinence (loss of bowel control)
  • Lower abdominal discomfort or cramps
  • Fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite
  • Weight loss with continuing diarrhea
  • Anemia due to bleeding with bowel movements

Because inflammatory bowel disease may be caused by a defect in the immune response system, other body organs may be involved, including for example:

When to Seek Medical Care for Ulcerative Colitis

Tell a health care professional about any persistent changes in bowel habits. If the patient is already under treatment for inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome, contact a doctor if the patient experiences any prolonged changes in the symptoms or passes blood in the stools.

Also seek medical care if any of these conditions are associated with colitis:

  • Blood or mucus in your stool (Blood is never normal in a bowel movement. While it may be due a relatively simple cause like hemorrhoids, it is important to make certain that the bleeding is not due to inflammatory bowel disease, tumor or another potentially life-threatening cause.)
  • Diarrhea lasting more than three days
  • Severe abdominal or rectal pain
  • Signs of dehydration such as dry mouth, excessive thirst, little or no urination
  • Frequent loose bowel movements during pregnancy
  • Progressively looser bowel movements and appearance of other symptoms such as joint pain, vision changes and increased weakness
  • Diarrhea with fever

Seek emergency medical attention if the following situations occur:

  • Abdominal pain with fever
  • Bloody bowel movements
  • Severe abdominal pain even if you already have the diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Progression or appearance of new symptoms over a few hours
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/7/2016
Medical Editor:

Must Read Articles Related to Ulcerative Colitis

Abdominal Pain (Adults)
Abdominal Pain in Adults Abdominal pain in adults can range from a mild stomach ache to severe pain. Examples of causes of abdominal pain in adults include learn more >>
Abscess An abscess is has several causes and can appear on many parts of the body, such as the dental, vaginal, and rectal areas. In general, home remedies or cures are...learn more >>
Colitis (Symptoms, Types, and Treatments)
Colitis Colitis is an inflammation of the colon. There are many cause of colitis, infectious colitis (bacterial or viral), ischemic colitis, learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Ulcerative Colitis:

Ulcerative Colitis - Treatment

What was the treatment for your ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative Colitis - Symptoms

For ulcerative colitis, what were the symptoms and signs you experienced?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Ulcerative Colitis »

Ulcerative colitis (UC)is an idiopathic chronicinflammatory disorder limited to the colon.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary