Is Your Ulcerative Colitis Treatment Working?
Gina Battaglia | Dec 19, 2017
- 1 1-2
- 2 4-6
- 3 7-9
- 4 More than 9
Over the past week, how many bowel movements have you had (on average) per day?
Frequent bowel movements, particularly if they are loose, are a hallmark of ulcerative colitis. A significant increase in the frequency of bowel movements may indicate a disease flare or relapse if you've previously achieved clinical remission.
Over the past week, how many bowel movements have you had per night that woke you up?
Bowel movements at night that cause you to wake up are frequently reported by people with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. Bowel movements in the middle of the night may indicate a disease flare or relapse if you've previously achieved clinical remission.
Over the past week, how often have you seen blood in your bowel movements?
Rectal bleeding is a common symptom of ulcerative colitis. Frequent bloody stools and bowel movements with blood only may indicate severe disease, a disease flare, or relapse if you've previously achieved clinical remission .
Over the past week, how urgent have your bowel movements typically been?
Increased urgency of bowel movements is a common symptom of ulcerative colitis. Incontinence or extreme urgency may indicate severe disease, a disease flare, or relapse if you've previously achieved clinical remission.
Which of the following best describes your typical stool consistency over the past week?
Stool consistency is one of many indicators of disease activity in ulcerative colitis. Semi-formed or liquid consistency may indicate increased disease activity; however, other issues, such as dietary factors or intestinal illness, may affect stool consistency. Talk with your doctor to determine whether the changes in your stool consistency are related to ulcerative colitis.
Which of the following best describes your abdominal pain over the past week?
Abdominal pain is a common symptom of ulcerative colitis. Prolonged and/or severe pain may indicate severe disease, a disease flare, or relapse if you've previously achieved clinical remission.
How frequently do your ulcerative colitis symptoms limit your ability to work, go to school, or engage in social activities?
Bowel problems that interfere with attendance at work, school, or social engagements may indicate severe ulcerative colitis, a disease flare, or relapse if you've previously achieved clinical remission. Talk with your doctor to determine whether a different treatment strategy may be more effective for controlling symptoms.
How many extraintestinal (outside of the intestines) symptoms related to ulcerative colitis do you have? Common symptoms include arthritis; skin rash; inflammation of the liver or biliary tract; eye inflammation; osteoporosis; peripheral neuropathy; kidney stones; gall stones; and nutrient deficiencies.
Symptoms related to ulcerative colitis that are outside of the intestines can occur in patients who have had UC for several years and may be related to the disease itself or to medications used to treat it. Extraintestinal symptoms may be associated with severe and/or poorly controlled disease. Talk with your doctor to rule out causes of these symptoms unrelated to ulcerative colitis.
How would you describe your general well-being over the past week?
A sense of well-being that is worse than normal may be related to worsening symptoms of ulcerative colitis. However, worsening sense of well-being can also be related to other factors unrelated to UC. Talk with your doctor to help assess the reason for your worsening sense of well-being and determine appropriate management moving forward.
How frequently do you worry or feel anxious about your ulcerative colitis? For example, you may have concerns about developing cancer, worries about the inability to resolve symptoms, and anxieties about relapses.
Frequent worries or anxieties about ulcerative colitis may indicate that your condition is not being managed as well as it could and/or that you have concerns that have not been addressed. Furthermore, some evidence suggests that anxiety and/or depression may cause flares to return more quickly. Talk with your doctor about a referral to a mental health provider to address your concerns.