SymptomsUlcerative colitis is an illness that brings periods of remission and relapse, during which symptoms get better and then return again. There are several factors that seem to influence the symptoms a person will develop. Some of these factors include:
- How much of the digestive tract is affected
- The severity of the condition
- A person's age
- Whether or not complications occur (see Ulcerative Colitis Complications).
The most common symptoms are diarrhea (which is often bloody), cramping, and abdominal pain (or stomach pain).
There are a number of other symptoms that can occur with ulcerative colitis. Some of these will occur because of problems in the intestines; others will occur because ulcerative colitis can also affect other areas of the body. For example, arthritis, osteoporosis (see Osteoporosis and Ulcerative Colitis), kidney stones, and gallstones can all occur as a result of ulcerative colitis. A person with the condition may also be at an increased risk of colon cancer (see Ulcerative colitis and Colon Cancer).
The course of the disease is quite variable. The majority of people will suffer a relapse within one year of diagnosis. There may, however, be prolonged periods of remission with minimal symptoms.
(Click Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis for more information on symptoms of this condition, including serious symptoms that may occur.)