Conditions / Ulcerative Colitis


It is an inflammatory disease that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in the colon (large gut). It affects the innermost lining of the large intestine and the terminal part of the gut (rectum). Symptoms are usually gradual in onset.

Sign and Symptoms

Depending on where it occurs and the severity of inflammation, symptoms of ulcerative colitis can vary from person to person. Some common ones include;

  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Diarrhoea, often with pus or blood
  • Rectal pain
  • Urgency to defecate
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Inability to defecate properly despite the urgency
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weight loss


The causes are not yet known. Experts think it might be due to the overreacting immune response to normal bacteria in the digestive tract. Some say that other microorganisms (bacteria and viruses) other than the normal flora of the GIT may cause it. There is a strong genetic predisposition as well.


Ulcerative colitis can be diagnosed after ruling out other possible causes for same signs and symptoms. To help confirm a diagnosis, a doctor may recommend having one or more of the following tests or procedures:

  • CBC (complete blood count)
  • Colonoscopy
  • Stool sample
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • X-ray
  • Computerised tomography enterography (CTE)
  • Magnetic resonance enterography (MRE)

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other healthcare professional. ALWAYS check with your doctor if you have any concerns about your condition or treatment.

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