One of the main symptoms of ulcerative colitis is bloody-slimy diarrhea up to twenty times a day. If only the rectum is affected by the inflammation in ulcerative colitis, the stool may also be normal and the blood is stored. Those affected by ulcerative colitis usually complain of spasmodic pain in the pelvic floor and anal area during defecation, less often also on the left side abdominal pain.
Ulcerative colitis: symptoms and signs
Depending on the severity of ulcerative colitis, it also causes symptoms such as constipation, fever, general weakness, weight loss, loss of appetite and nausea. In most cases of ulcerative colitis, about 85 percent of those affected, acute relapses alternate with symptom-free phases, which can last for years (chronic recurrence).
Increased physical or mental stress often trigger a new attack of ulcerative colitis.
However, there are also forms of ulcerative colitis, in which the inflammatory reactions take place continuously in varying degrees (chronic-continuous) or suddenly begin with the most serious, life-threatening diarrhea, convulsions, fever and shock (acute-fulminant).
Other symptoms of ulcerative colitis
It is not uncommon for ulcerative colitis to show symptoms outside the intestinal tract. About five percent of sufferers suffer from painful changes in the skin on the lower leg extensors. These present as either reddened, overheated, walnut-sized sublimities (erythema nodosum) or sharply defined ulcers (pyoderma gangraenosum). One-quarter of ulcerative colitis patients suffer from pain in the knee and ankle joints, a fifth among changes in the liver and biliary tract. Symptoms of the eyes are less common, such as inflammations of the connective or iris and kidney stones.
If ulcerative colitis is prolonged and shows extensive involvement, the risk of developing colon cancer increases - ten to ten times that of the normal population after ten years of disease.
A life-threatening, albeit rare complication as a result of a severe inflammatory attack is the toxic megacolon, a paralysis of the intestinal musculature. As a result, the intestinal content is not moved further, the intestine puffs and toxins and bacteria get into the bloodstream. There is a risk of peritonitis and perforation - caused by ulcerative colitis.