Gut Instincts: A Clinician's Handbook of Digestive and Liver Diseases

Eric Esrailian, MD, MPH

Chapter 16: Ulcerative Colitis (continued)

Gil Y. Melmed, MD, MS

Ulcerative colitis (UC) represents chronic inflammation involving the colon. Symptoms usually correspond to the disease severity. Milder symptoms may be limited to sporadic blood seen in the stool, while more severe symptoms can include frank hematochezia with diarrhea, often accompanied by tenesmus and lower abdominal pain on the left side. In fulminant UC, patients may have more than 10 bowel movements daily accompanied by systemic signs or symptoms of toxicity including fever, severe abdominal pain, and even hemodynamic instability. Historically, fulminant UC carried significant mortality…