Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Ulcerative Colitis Health Center

Font Size

Ulcerative Colitis - When To Call a Doctor

Call a doctor immediately if you have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and you have:

  • Fever over 101°F (38.3°C) or shaking chills.
  • Lightheadedness, passing out, or rapid heart rate.
  • Stools that are almost always bloody.
  • Severe dehydration, such as passing little or no urine for 12 or more hours.
  • Severe belly pain with or without bloating.
  • Pus draining from the area around the anus or pain and swelling in the anal area.
  • Repeated vomiting.
  • Not passing any stools or gas.

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 fatal.

Recommended Related to Ulcerative Colitis

Vitamins and Supplements for Ulcerative Colitis

If you have ulcerative colitis (UC), a type of inflammatory bowel disease, you may need vitamins or supplements to help maintain good nutrition. That's in addition to eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. Here is an overview of the supplements you may need to take if you have ulcerative colitis. Keep in mind that the best source for nutrients is the food you eat, and that actual deficiencies vary from person to person. So before taking supplements, discuss your nutritional status with your doct...

Read the Vitamins and Supplements for Ulcerative Colitis article > >

People with ulcerative colitis usually know their normal pattern of symptoms. Call your doctor if there is a change in your usual symptoms or if:

  • Your symptoms become significantly worse than usual.
  • You have persistent diarrhea for more than 2 weeks.
  • You have lost weight.

Watchful waiting

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 colitis include:

For the treatment and management of ulcerative colitis, you are likely to be referred to a gastroenterologist.

To be evaluated for surgery, you may be referred to a:

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
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.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

basket of vegetables
IBD Overview Slideshow
Ulcerative Colitis Managing Flares
what is ibs

Supplements UC
Ulcerative Colitis Health Check
Ulcerative Colitis Diet
Ulcerative Colitis Diet Yogurt

Ulcerative Colitis Surgery
Ulcerative Colitis Medications
Exercising When You Have A GI Disorder
Picture Of The Intestines
Image Collection