Colitis Home > Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

Chronic, often bloody, diarrhea; stomach pain; cramping; and urgency to have a bowel movement are common signs and symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Depending on the severity of a person's condition, other symptoms may also be present. If ulcerative colitis symptoms go untreated, it can lead to complications, such as arthritis, liver disease, and kidney stones.

Signs and Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis: An Overview

The ulcerative colitis symptoms a person experiences will vary, based on the severity of the disease. For some people with a mild case, symptoms occur now and then. Other people have a more severe case of ulcerative colitis and regularly experience diarrhea and abdominal pain (stomach pain), as well as other complications. It is also possible to have periods of remission, during which the symptoms go away for months or even years. Unfortunately, it is not possible for healthcare providers to know whether a person will have mild or severe ulcerative colitis symptoms.

Common Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms

The most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis are:
  • Chronic diarrhea, which is often bloody
  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain) and cramping
  • Feeling an urgency to have a bowel movement
  • Feeling like you can't fully empty your bowels.
Some other possible symptoms include:
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Mucus in the stool.
People who have mild symptoms of ulcerative colitis usually have diarrhea up to four times a day. These people only occasionally experience blood in their stool or symptoms from other complications. About half of the people with ulcerative colitis have mild symptoms.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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