Medical History and Physical Exam for Ulcerative Colitis
A medical history and physical exam are standard tests for people who
have abdominal pain and a change in bowel habits. They allow a health
professional to determine the seriousness and extent of disease.
The medical history for
ulcerative colitis includes questions about:
Ulcerative colitis can begin very early. At the age of 12, for instance, Amanda Sina Griffith found herself the object of a custody battle -- and was besieged by painful stomach cramps and bloody diarrhea. “I’d had very mild stomach symptoms before; my doctor thought it was a bacterial infection. But now, it was worse,” she recalls. The diagnosis was ulcerative colitis.
Now 31, the Norton, Mass., public relations consultant and mother of a 7-month-old still finds that when she’s under stress her...
Bowel function, including how many bowel
movements you have per day or per week, whether you have constipation or
diarrhea, whether you have noticed any blood or mucus in your stool, and any
recent changes in your bowel habits or the shape of your
Whether your bowel movement patterns have any relationship
to your abdominal pain (for example, if passing a stool relieves your
Whether your family has any history of similar
that may increase your risk of an intestinal infection, such as traveling in a
foreign country, drinking untreated water (such as on a hiking or backpacking
trip), or recently using antibiotics.
Your sexual history. Some
sexually transmitted diseases may infect the rectum and cause symptoms similar
to those of ulcerative colitis.
Other body systems and whether you
have symptoms such as joint pain, eye problems, or a skin rash.
Your health professional will do a standard physical exam, which may