Signs & Symptoms of Colitis


There are four main types of colitis. Because of this fact, there are numerous symptoms that signal colitis. Some of the symptoms are universal to every type and others are type specific. A visit to the doctor is warranted if any of these symptoms are noticed because many of the symptoms can lead to other health problems, including anemia and malnutrition.

Universal Symptoms

Diarrhea, which is sometimes blood streaked, is the most common sign of ulcerative colitis. Sufferers may have as many as 20 bouts of diarrhea per day. This symptom can sometimes last as long as a month.


Pancolitis causes night sweats, extreme fatigue and weight loss. This form of ulcerative colitis affects the entire colon.

Left-Sided Colitis

This form of colitis affects only the left side of the colon, rectum and sigmoid. Because of this, localized pain on the left side of the abdomen is common.

Ulcerative Proctitis

In this type of ulcerative colitis, the rectum is affected. As such, sufferers may suffer from tenesmus, which is the feeling of having to void the bowels even though the bowels are empty. Another sign of this form is rectal pain accompanied by rectal bleeding.

Fulminant Colitis

This form of ulcerative colitis is the most life-threatening form. Luckily, it is also the least common form. Some of the symptoms of this form include shock and dehydration. Abdominal distention is also possible if the colon begins to swell uncontrollably, which is a medical emergency that requires surgery.

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