Signs and Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

Recognizing the symptoms of ulcerative colitis is your first step toward knowing when your disease is in a flare and when to seek medical attention.

The symptoms of ulcerative colitis vary from person to person and about half of all ulcerative colitis patients experience mild symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your healthcare provider.  

  • Loose and urgent bowel movements

  • Bloody stool

  • Abdominal cramps and pain

  • Persistent diarrhea accompanied by abdominal pain and blood in the stool


Living with Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms

Your ulcerative colitis symptoms will likely come and go, with longer periods in between flares when you may not experience any discomfort at all. Those periods are called remission, and they can span months or even years. Because there is not yet a cure for ulcerative colitis, your symptoms will eventually return.

Ulcerative colitis is an unpredictable disease, and the length of periods of remission between flares can make it difficult for doctors to evaluate whether your course of treatment has been effective or not.


Symptoms Beyond the Intestine

There are several symptoms of ulcerative colitis that can affect your general health and your quality of life.

  • Loss of appetite

  • Weight loss

  • Nausea

  • Fever

  • Low energy and fatigue

  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)

  • Delayed growth and development in children

To learn about other potential symptoms and effects of ulcerative colitis on the body, visit our GI Tract guide.


Living with Ulcerative Colitis


Living with Ulcerative Colitis...

A brochure to help patients and their caregivers learn about how to manage ulcerative colitis.

Managing Flares and Other IBD Symptoms...

Managing Flares and Other IBD Symptoms