Symptoms and Signs of Ulcerative Colitis

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Medically Reviewed on 5/6/2020

Doctor's Notes on Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is an acute or chronic inflammation of the colon (large bowel or large intestine). Signs and symptoms include inflammation of colon tissue and it can produce sores and ulcers; it is usually limited to the colon and rarely affects the small intestine, except for the terminal ileum. Common signs and symptoms include

Occasionally, other body organs may be involved; for example, eye problems, joint problems, neck or back pain, skin rashes, liver and bile duct problems and/or kidney problems.

The cause of ulcerative colitis is not known. Risk factors include

  • genetics,
  • family history,
  • infectious agents (bacteria or viruses, toxins, autoimmunity,
  • smoking and
  • stress.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.