Information for those with Ulcerative Colitis

Colitis Symptoms and Diagnosis

Main Symptoms

Depending on the cause of your colitis, you may have some of the more common symptoms:

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

Possible complications

If you develop chronic inflammatory bowel disease, you may also have complications, possibly because your immune system triggers inflammation in other parts of your body, such as these:
  • Eye problems or pain
  • Joint problems
  • Neck or lower back pain
  • Skin rashes
  • Liver and kidney problems

Diagnosis of Colitis

Colitis is usually initially diagnosed from the following

  • Diarrhea that has lasted for more than a week - and has no obvious dietary cause
  • Abdominal pain
  • Pain just before passing stools - and a sense of urgency
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Blood or mucous in the stools

The diagnosis is usually confirmed by a colonoscopy - a small camera being passed up the anus. This both confirms the diagnosis - and determines the extent of the disease.

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