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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Health Center

IBD Overview

Inflammatory bowel disease can cause symptoms such as abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, and fever. Other symptoms of IBD can include weight loss.

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Symptoms

The symptoms of ulcerative colitis may include:

  • Diarrhea or rectal urgency. Some people may have diarrhea 10 to 20 times a day. The urge to go to the bathroom may wake you up at night.
  • Rectal bleeding. The disease usually causes bloody diarrhea and mucus. You also may have rectal pain and an urgent need to empty your bowels.
  • Belly pain, often described as cramping. Your belly may be sore when touched.
  • Constipation. This symptom may develop depending on what part of the colon is affected. Constipation is much less common than diarrhea.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Fever. In severe cases, fever or other symptoms that affect the entire body may develop.
  • Weight loss. Ongoing symptoms, such as diarrhea, can lead to weight loss.
  • Too few red blood cells (anemia). Some people get anemia because of low iron levels caused by bloody stools or intestinal inflammation.

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