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Ulcerative colitis is a condition that mainly affects the colon, causing inflammation as well as ulcers. It also affects the rectum, and symptoms can be far-ranging, affecting many parts of the body. The main symptoms include bloody stool, pain, and inflammation. Ulcerative colitis may cause flare-ups, during which symptoms can be especially difficult to manage. Different treatment options are ranging from dietary modifications to medication.

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Dehydration

One of the most debilitating symptoms caused by ulcerative colitis is dehydration. Dehydration refers to a condition where the body's water level becomes critically low, causing symptoms like dizziness and fatigue. Ulcerative colitis can cause dehydration because of the water loss that occurs through diarrhea. This can also cause a shock for the body. To alleviate the symptoms of dehydration, make sure you consume plenty of water with your meals, and aim for at least eight glasses of water per day. If you suffer from lighter ulcerative colitis, dehydration won't be as noticeable. On the contrary, in some cases, it can become severe.

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Weight Loss

A common symptom of ulcerative colitis is weight loss. Patients who experience severe digestive issues may have difficulties absorbing nutrients and minerals, as well as pain during the digestive process. Moreover, they can suffer from painful and explosive diarrhea, causing them to lose weight suddenly and without warning. If the diarrhea isn't treated, it can lead to weight loss, which may also be severe. As a result of the loss of nutrients, malnutrition and fatigue can occur, as well as other ailments. Treat diarrhea to help improve digestion as well as overall stomach health.

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Anemia

Anemia, meaning a low level of iron in the blood, can occur in patients with ulcerative colitis. People with anemia can experience symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. An iron deficiency in the body means that your blood cells aren't carrying enough oxygen around the body. In severe cases, anemia can be deadly. If you suffer from ulcerative colitis, you may have internal bleeding as well as blood loss in the rectum, causing iron levels to deplete. This can cause weakness as well as confusion and loss of concentration.

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Rectal Bleeding

Ulcerative colitis patients are likely to experience bleeding of the rectum, as well as blood loss. Rectal bleeding occurs because the skin around the anus becomes inflamed and painful, causing blood loss which may be light or severe. The skin may become irritated and sensible. People who experience rectal bleeding also describe the feeling of needing to have an urgent bowel movement. Bleeding may be worsened by certain foods, such as products containing gluten. These are also known as triggers. If you suffer from rectal bleeding, address the symptoms by discussing your condition with your doctor.

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Constipation

One of the more irritating symptoms of ulcerative colitis is constipation. You may experience extended periods of constipation, followed by periods of pain and frequent diarrhea. Ulcerative colitis can appear in many forms, one of which is proctosigmoiditis, and it mainly affects the colon. That's why it can provoke diarrhea, which may be bloody, as well as other digestive-related ailments. Being constipated means spending lots of time on the toilet, but being unable actually to pass a bowel movement. Different treatments may help reduce constipation, but each person reacts differently to specific therapies.

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Fatigue

It is not uncommon for people with ulcerative colitis to feel fatigued. Fatigue refers to a state of being always tired and lacking energy. Fatigue can be mild or severe, depending on each person and the effects it has on the body. Ulcerative colitis, as well as its related symptoms such as anemia and dehydration, are often the leading causes of fatigue. To add to that, malnutrition can often worsen fatigue as well as overall health. Fatigue can be treated by addressing the main underlying issues. You can also try to improve your sleep quality at night to fight fatigue.

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Inflammation

An important symptom of ulcerative colitis is inflammation, which can occur in different parts of the body. It is most likely to happen in the colon, and it can extend to other organs including the upper digestive tract. Inflammation is triggered mostly by irritation to the affected areas and causes a wide range of symptoms to appear. Pain, for example, can be felt around the affected areas. Inflammation can also cause more worrying symptoms, for example, blockages in the smaller intestine. You may also experience bloating as a result. Consult your doctor for information on how to reduce inflammation.

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Fever

Fever is another typical symptom that indicated ulcerative colitis and can develop for many reasons, but in this case, it occurs as a reaction to the damage caused by the disease. By increasing its internal temperature, the body tries to kill bacteria that may be harming the body. Malaise, malnourishment, and nausea can also trigger a fever. Ulcerative colitis patients are also likely to experience chills, meaning a feeling of coldness that overwhelms the body. This occurs while body temperature fluctuates.

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Diarrhea

You may experience diarrhea on a frequent basis if you have ulcerative colitis. Diarrhea occurs because the digestive system attempts to remove contents of the stomach or the intestines forcefully. This often means runny, watery stool that is rapidly expelled from the rectum. Diarrhea can be acute or chronic, and it can cause a wide range of symptoms to appear, the most concerning of which is dehydration. Diarrhea can cause the body to lost large volumes of water, so it is important to continue drinking liquids. Certain diets can increase the likelihood of diarrhea.

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Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain is a likely occurrence for people who suffer from ulcerative colitis. Pain in the abdominal region can be divided into four quadrants and can be classified into different types of pain. Some people experience sharp pain, describing it as a stabbing feeling. Others experience deep aching pains, and others have periods of feeling the urgent need to take a bowel movement. Certain foods are likely to worsen symptoms and to cause a flare-up. Some patients also have periods of remission, during which pain is almost non-existent. Certain over-the-counter pain medications may alleviate pain.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.