Signs and symptoms
Ulcerative Colitis is a very individual condition and symptoms will vary from person to person. They range from mild to severe and may also change over time. About half of all patients with ulcerative colitis experience mild symptoms, while others have frequent flare-ups.
The most common symptoms are:
- Stool is generally bloody
- Cramping pains in the abdomen
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Feeling generally unwell or feverish
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Anaemia (a reduced level of red blood cells)
Causes and risk factors for Ulcerative Colitis
It is estimated that UC affects about one in every 420 people in the UK (roughly 146,000 people). It is not known what causes Ulcerative Colitis. However, it is probably a combination of factors:
- Previous infection
While there is no known cure for ulcerative colitis and flare ups may recur, a combination of treatments can help to control the disease and lead a full and rewarding life. Medication for ulcerative colitis can reduce the inflammation of the colon allowing tissues to heal.
The main aims of treatment are:
- To reduce symptoms – known as inducing remission (a period without symptoms).
- Maintain remission – treatments may be medical, surgical or a combination of both. In most cases the first line of treatment is steroids to reduce the inflammation.
Please visit the Crohn’s and Colitis UK website for more information.
- Cockbain AJ, et al., (2012) Gut; 61:135-149. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for the treatment and prevention of colorectal cancer
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- Scaioli E, et al., (2018); EPA Reduces Fecal Levels of Calprotectin and Prevents Relapse in patients with UC; 2018;16:1268-1275