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Ulcerative Colitis: Problems Outside the Digestive Tract - Topic Overview

Complications of ulcerative colitis can include: 1

  • Arthritis, in 5 to 20 out of 100 people. Some people develop colitis-related arthritis, which may resemble rheumatoid arthritis. In people who have ulcerative colitis, inflammation limited to the lower joints of the spine (sacroiliitis) is more common than ankylosing spondylitis, another type of arthritis that affects the spine and lower back.
  • Eye symptoms such as inflammation of the iris and blood vessels (uveitis), and inflammation of the white part of the eyes (episcleritis). Treatment of ulcerative colitis with corticosteroid medicines may increase the risk of cataracts. Eye problems occur in less than 10 out of 100 people who have ulcerative colitis.
  • Skin conditions such as mouth ulcers, erythema nodosum, and pyoderma gangrenosum. Both erythema nodosum and pyoderma gangrenosum are relatively rare. About 10 out of 100 people with ulcerative colitis develop mouth ulcers.
  • Problems with blood clots in the legs or other areas of the body.
  • Liver problems, including chronic hepatitis and inflammation of the tissues around the bile ducts.

Ulcerative colitis can also cause growth problems in children. Affected children may not grow as quickly or as tall as their peers. Children with ulcerative colitis need attention to their diet to ensure that they get enough nutrients.

Recommended Related to Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Low-Residue Diet

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) -- like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis -- or diverticulitis, your doctor may suggest you follow a low-residue diet. A low-residue diet involves eating more easily digestible foods. A low-residue diet may reduce symptoms of IBD, such as diarrhea and stomach cramping; however, it will not cure IBD.

Read the Low-Residue Diet article > >

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 08, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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