Ulcerative colitis

Symptoms of ulcerative colitis

The symptoms of the condition can vary, depending on how much of the colon is affected and the level of inflammation.

Common symptoms include

  • abdominal pain,
  • bloody diarrhoea with mucus

There may also be

  • tiredness and fatigue
  • loss of appetite and weight loss
  • anaemia
  • fever
  • dehydration
  • weight-loss
  • a constant desire to empty the bowels (known as tenesmus)

Symptoms are often worse first thing in the morning.

Many people living with the condition will have longs periods of months or years where they experience very few, or no, symptoms. However, in all cases, without treatment symptoms will eventually return.

No specific trigger that causes the return of symptoms has been identified, though it is thought that stress may play a factor.


Acute means occuring suddenly or over a short period of time.
Diarrhoea is the passing of frequent watery stools when you go to the toilet.
Loss of appetite
Loss of appetite is when you do not feel hungry or want to eat.
A high temperature, also known as a fever, is when someone's body temperature goes above the normal 37°C (98.6°F).
Pain is an unpleasant physical or emotional feeling that your body produces as a warning sign that it has been damaged.
Fatigue is extreme tiredness and lack of energy.
Dehydration is an excessive loss of fluids and minerals from the body.
Last updated: 27 January 2012

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