Call a doctor immediately if you have been diagnosed with
ulcerative colitis and you have:
101 °F (38.3 °C) or shaking
Lightheadedness, passing out, or rapid heart
Stools that are almost always bloody.
dehydration, such as passing little or no urine for 12 or more hours.
Severe belly pain with or
Pus draining from the area around the
anus or pain and swelling in the anal
Not passing any stools or
If you have any of these symptoms and you have been
diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, your disease may have become significantly
worse. Some of these symptoms also may be signs of
toxic megacolon. This is a condition in which the colon swells
to many times its normal size. Toxic megacolon requires emergency treatment.
Left untreated, it can cause the colon to leak or rupture. This can be
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...
Watchful waiting is not appropriate when you
have any of the above symptoms. If your symptoms are caused by ulcerative
colitis, delaying the diagnosis and treatment may make the disease worse. And it can
increase your risk of other problems.
Even when the disease is in
remission, your doctor will want to see you regularly to check for
complications. Some of these problems can be hard to detect. It is always a good idea to
call your doctor's office for advice.
Who to see
Health professionals who can diagnose ulcerative