Inflammatory bowel disease - ulcerative colitis; IBD - ulcerative colitis
The symptoms vary in severity and may start slowly or suddenly. About half of people only have mild symptoms. Others have more severe attacks that occur more often. Many factors can lead to attacks, including respiratory infections or physical stress.
Abdominal painand cramping that usually disappears after a bowel movement
Abdominal sounds(a gurgling or splashing sound heard over the intestine)
- Blood and pus in the stools
- Diarrhea, from only a few episodes to very often throughout the day
Tenesmus(rectal pain) Weight loss
Children's growth may slow.
Other symptoms that may occur with ulcerative colitis include the following:
Gastrointestinal bleeding Joint pain
- Mouth sores (ulcers)
Nausea and vomiting
- Skin lumps or ulcers
Signs and tests
Colonoscopy is also used to screen people with ulcerative colitis for colon cancer. Ulcerative colitis increases the risk of colon cancer. If you have this condition, you should be screened with colonoscopy about 8 - 12 years after being diagnosed. You should have a follow-up colonoscopy every 1 - 2 years.
Other tests that may be done to help diagnose this condition include:
- Complete blood count (
- C-reactive protein (
Review Date: 12/13/2010
Reviewed By: George F Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.