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What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?

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The symptoms of ulcerative colitis include severe diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal cramps, decreased appetite and fever, reports WebMD. Other symptoms such as constipation, anemia and weight loss may occur. Ulcerative colitis is a lifelong condition, but patients typically experience periods of remission punctuated by episodes of symptom flare-ups, notes Mayo Clinic.

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Ulcerative colitis, one of the two most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease, is a painful condition that causes colorectal ulcers and inflammation, according to Mayo Clinic. Ulcerative colitis affects all age groups, although most patients experience the onset of the disease before their thirties. Young children who develop ulcerative colitis typically experience stunted growth patterns as well. The symptoms of ulcerative colitis are similar to those of Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, states WebMD. However, there are a few differences between Crohn's disease, IBS and ulcerative colitis. Crohn's disease, unlike ulcerative colitis, can cause inflammation in organs other than the colon, while IBS does not result in the rectal bleeding often associated with ulcerative colitis.

If symptoms such as diarrhea and fever persist for more than two days despite the use of over the counter medications, a doctor should be consulted, notes Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms that warrant immediate medical evaluation and treatment include continuing stomach cramps and bloody stool or diarrhea, accompanied by a significant change in bowel movement patterns.

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