Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation and ulcers in the large intestine. Along with the inner lining of the large intestine, it can also affect the rectum and the colon. The symptoms of ulcerative colitis can be discomforting and lead to severe complications if left untreated. Hence, it is crucial to recognize the signs and symptoms of ulcerative colitis for timely diagnosis and management.
Abdominal pain and cramping
A common sign of this disease is abdominal pain and cramping. It can range from mild to severe and may come and go, but it is often exacerbated during flare-ups. If a person is experiencing pain in their left side, it may indicate left-sided colitis.
Another telltale sign of ulcerative colitis is frequent diarrhea. Also, it is usually followed by an urgent inclination to pass stool. This symptom can be distressing and disruptive to daily life. The diarrhea may also be accompanied by mucus and can increase during a flare-up.
Blood in stool
The presence of blood in stool is a concerning symptom of ulcerative colitis. This symptom can result from inflammation and ulcers in the colon’s lining. Along with blood, pus and mucus can be present in stools.
People with this condition may experience periods of nausea, which can contribute to an overall sense of discomfort. Nausea is also linked to the ulcer and inflammation in the large intestine.
An overwhelming sense of weakness and fatigue may also indicate ulcerative colitis. This fatigue can worsen if a person experiences multiple episodes of diarrhea in a day, which can lead to an electrolyte imbalance. Also, the weakness is caused due to blood loss that has occurred via stools.
Inability to pass stools, despite the urgency
In some cases, people with ulcerative colitis may also experience an inability to pass stools despite having an urgent inclination to do so. This symptom can be stressful and cause disruptions in managing daily activities.
While there is no known cure for ulcerative colitis, prompt treatment can effectively manage it. Specific treatment options are available to calm the inflammation and control the symptoms, reducing disruptions in the individual’s daily life. Also, the signs may mimic other health conditions. Therefore, it is advised to consult a healthcare expert to determine the causes and lay out a treatment plan.