Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms

Key points 

  • People with ulcerative colitis can experience symptoms differently from each other.
  • Common symptoms of ulcerative colitis often include abdominal pain, frequent diarrhoea, bleeding in the faeces (poo) and feeling generally unwell.
  • Gut inflammation can lead to symptoms that affect many different parts of your body so it can be helpful to talk about them with your doctor.

What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?

Symptoms of ulcerative colitis can be different for each person and may be serious or mild. Symptoms will depend on how much of the large intestine has become inflamed and how strong the inflammation is. 

The most common symptoms during a flare are: 

  • Abdominal pain 
  • Frequent diarrhoea (sometimes mixed with mucus and blood) and urgent need to use the toilet often 
  • Tiredness, fatigue 
  • Raised temperature, fever 
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss 
  • Anaemia (reduced level of blood cells) 

Less common symptoms during a flare are: 

  • Joint pain 
  • Mouth ulcers (sores) 
  • Eye inflammation (uveitis and episcleritis) 
  • Liver inflammation (Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC)) 
  • Skin rashes 
  • Hair loss 

Always ask your doctor if you are worried about any of your symptoms.