The symptoms may be mild in some individuals and subside on their own if the extent of the colon involvement is limited. More extensive involvement with severe bleeding and diarrhea may cause dehydration and anemia. Toxic megacolon
and colonic rupture is one of the dreaded complications of ulcerative colitis.
Some patients suffer from symptoms involving other organs like painful joints due to arthritis. Ulcerative colitis and hip pain, or backache caused by sacro-iliitis
is not infrequent. skin nodules called erythema nodosum
, and an acute painful red eye called uveitis
are some other complications.
Few patients also have involvement of the liver with inflammation of the bile ducts and presenting as jaundice, fever and even lead on to cirrhosis.
Stricture or narrowing of the large intestine, esp. near the anal canal and recto-sigmoid junction are seen in some patients.
A rare complication is a development of a fistula or abnormal connections between the rectum and adjacent structures .
Development of colon cancer
is a possibility when a person suffers from extensive disease for more than eight years. Yearly colonoscopy with biopsy is necessary to pick up malignancy at the earliest and nip it in the bud.