Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is a chronic disease of the large intestine/colon. Inflammation in the colon causes ulcers or open sores to form in the colon. There is debate amongst doctors as to whether UC is actually an autoimmune condition like Crohn’s disease, which affects the small intestine, or not. Read more:
An estimated 1.4 million Americans, including some 140,000 children under the age of 18, suffer from these diseases. (1)
This website was developed to use as a central site for people with Ulcerative Colitis and parents of children with Ulcerative Colitis symptoms to gain knowledge about this condition and give them direction to find the help they need.
There are many symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis. Symptoms can come and go without any reason or in any specific order. There will be times you are fine (remission) and there will be times you will have symptoms (flare). The list of symptoms are below and linked to more information.
My son was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in February of 2005. I have literally spent thousands of hours researching the colon, this condition, it’s causes, treatments, and alternative treatments. I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge and felt I should share it with as many people as I can. My son was allergic to the medications that the doctors gave him and the medications almost killed him. I took him from doctor to doctor and found that not all doctors agree on treatment, not all are sympathetic to the pain, and there are very few doctors out there that believe in the body’s natural ability to heal itself when given what it needs naturally.
I worked in the medical field for many years, but I am not a doctor. I am just a very tenacious mother who watched her son suffer horribly for years from this condition and I have had a passion to learn everything I can about this devastating condition. I am not going to give medical advice, I am not qualified. However, what I am going to do is give you a lot of guidance to put you on the right path to finding your or your child’s road to remission (no symptoms).
When dealing with the body things can get pretty overwhelming and complicated. I created this site as user friendly as possible. You can find out as much or as little as you need to know.
As you browse through the pages keep in mind that you are in charge of your body. You are the one ultimately responsible for your health. Different doctors have differing opinions. Research, research research.
Every body is different, therefore everybody’s symptoms can be different. Some people have no pain, others will have a lot of pain. Some have blood mixed with diarrhea, others have no blood. Some people will be constipated. Some will not. Some people find their condition is seasonal with flares during the change of season with Fall being the worst. Some do not.
There are also extraintestinal symptoms you may experience. These are symptoms that are common to people with Ulcerative Colitis but are not colon related. “25% of people with UC will develop extraintestinal manifestations.”(2) You may or may not have extraintestinal symptoms. Most of the extraintestinal symptoms are caused from inflammation in other areas of the body.
Here is a list of common Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis:
Click on the links for more information
Diarrhea: is a common symptom of UC. This occurs when the condition is flaring. It may of may not be mixed with blood. This can be frightening. It is a good idea to make sure you take the proper supplements to assist the body in staying healthy during a flare. If you have diarrhea for more than 3 days or it is mixed with blood, contact your doctor right away.
Constipation: Many people with UC suffer from constipation. It may come and go. If it goes on for too long you should contact your doctor. Complications can arise that can be life threatening.
Pain: Some people experience pain. My son is one of them. The pain can be quite severe. Because of all the government regulations in the United States regarding painkillers many people suffering from the pain of Ulcerative Colitis find it difficult to find a doctor or gastroenterologist willing to prescribe them. Reactions to some medications can cause serious conditions that can cause horrible pain. Contact your doctor if you experience severe pain while on medication.
Mucus in the stool occurs naturally. The part of the colon that produces the mucus in the large intestine is the inner epithelial. It is a jelly-like substance and used by the body to lubricate the large intestine to make passing the stools easier and cut down on friction. Sometimes the mucus may have air trapped and it becomes bubbly. The mucus is normally clear and usually not detectable. The concern comes in when it is white or yellow. The mucous layer in the intestine is what protects from ulcers and protects the body from bad bacteria working its way through the walls of the intestine into the body called leaky gut. Some doctors don’t believe leaky gut syndrome exists but there has been a lot of evidence including this fascinating study where the doctors and scientists took pictures of it happening in the colon. The mucous layer is bolstered by probiotics. One daily is important.
Here is a supplement that may help:
Anemia: Anemia occurs because of the blood loss when blAoody diarrhea is present or because of lack of folic and B12 in the body. Folic and B12 are absorbed in the large intestine. Because of the UC condition Folic and B12 are not absorbed as they should be.
Fatigue: Fatigue can be a real issue for people with UC. The constant diarrhea during a flare strips the body of the nutrients it needs. It is especially pronounced when anemia is present or dehydration sets in. It is important to continue to eat nutritious foods that do not upset your digestive system, take a good liquid (it absorbs quicker) natural vitamin complex, and drink plenty of water.
Nausea/Vomiting: Throwing up is not common in UC unless the flare is severe and the ulcers extensive. Nausea more common and happens when there is a lot of diarrhea during an active flare. Both can be a response to severe pain.
Dehydration: Dehydration can happen to anyone. People with Ulcerative Colitis are more at risk because during a flare water is lost due to diarrhea. Sometimes a person experiencing a UC flare will not want to drink water because they have to defecate right away. If a person is dehydrated for too long it can be life threatening.
Weight Loss/Anorexia: Weight loss is common in people with Ulcerative Colitis because of malnutrition and not wanting to eat because of the pain and diarrhea. Anorexia is a condition in which a person quits eating, causing weight loss. Anorexia is very serious. During a flare people with Ulcerative Colitis many times will not want to eat.
Flatulence/strange smelling farts/burping: People with Ulcerative Colitis have a lot more gas. The gas that passes and the stools have a strange smell. Sometimes the smell is putrid like something rotting. Sometimes it smells like sulfur.
Extra-Intestinal Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms
Extra Intestinal Symptoms (symptoms not in the intestine) can develop in people with UC because of inflammation. Here is a list of the kinds of symptoms that can develop.
Alopecia Hair Loss – Many patients with UC do report hair loss. My son did. Taking the supplement Biotin helped. If you are experiencing hair loss, you may have the mthfr gene mutation which is a cause of copper toxicity. One of the signs of copper toxicity is hair loss. It has also been reported that some medications for UC cause hair loss. My son wasn’t on them when the hair loss occurred.
Primary Sclerosing_cholangitis An inflammation and eventualy the blockage of the bile ducts in both inside the liver and outside the liver. More than 80% of patients who have PSC also have Ulcerative Colitis. (7)
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