TMJ Center of Los Angeles

What Are Common Signs of Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative Colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects your digestive tract. It causes inflammation and ulcers in the colon (large intestine) and rectum.

As one of the most common GI conditions, Ulcerative Colitis can cause some pretty serious health complications, so it’s important to contact a medical professional if you feel that you may have it. These are some of the common signs of Ulcerative Colitis that can help you identify the disease:

Bloody diarrhea. This is the most common sign of Ulcerative Colitis and can sometimes be accompanied by pus.

Abdominal pain and cramping. Cramps can occur due to the ulcers and inflammation caused by Ulcerative Colitis throughout the digestive track.

Rectal pain or bleeding. A noticeable pain may occur in the rectum. In Ulcerative Proctitis (a type of Ulcerative Colitis that affects only the rectum), this could be the sole symptom.

Urgent and frequent defecation. You might have difficulty holding in your stool and find yourself using the bathroom more frequently. Feelings of needing to go may wake you up at night or seemingly come out of nowhere. Frequent defecation can cause weight loss.

Inability to defecate. Oppositely, if you aren’t able to use the bathroom when you feel like you need to, you could have Ulcerative Colitis.

Feeling like your colon has not been emptied (tenesmus). Even after you use the bathroom, you might feel like your colon is not completely empty. This feeling can stem from the inflammation that’s occurring in your digestive track. This might also leave you with no to low appetite.

Other extraintestinal symptoms that may be related to Ulcerative Colitis are:

Sores or rashes. Physical sores or rashes may appear on the skin (anywhere on the body) as a result of inflammation caused by Ulcerative Colitis.

Fatigue. Your body can feel tired due to an increased strain on your digestive system and a loss of nutrients.

Anemia. A condition that refers to the reduction of red blood cells, anemia may occur due to increased bleeding that is passed through the stool.

Joint pain. Increased inflammation can swell up joints, causing pain. In patients with Ulcerative Colitis, this can develop into arthritis.

Dehydration. You may feel thirsty and dehydrated due to more frequent bowel movements and diarrhea.

Eye pain or red eyes. This could be due to the strain on your eyes from more frequent trips to the bathroom.

Ulcerative Colitis in children may cause delayed growth. For more information, contact your Beverly Hills and Los Angeles gastroenterologist, Dr. Davidson today and schedule a consultation.

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