Ulcerative Colitis and Fever: What You Need to Know
Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the colon and rectum. It is a chronic condition that causes inflammation and sores, or ulcers, in the lining of the large intestine. Symptoms of ulcerative colitis vary widely, with some individuals experiencing mild discomfort and others suffering from severe complications.
While ulcerative colitis primarily affects the digestive system, it can also impact other parts of the body. One of the most common non-digestive symptoms of ulcerative colitis is fever. But does ulcerative colitis cause fever? Here’s what you need to know.
The Link Between Ulcerative Colitis and Fever
Fever is a common symptom of many different types of illnesses, and it can be caused by a variety of factors, including infections, inflammation, and trauma. In the case of ulcerative colitis, fever is most often caused by inflammation in the body.
The inflammation associated with ulcerative colitis can cause a fever as the body tries to fight off the inflammation. Additionally, people with ulcerative colitis may develop infections due to a weakened immune system, which can cause fever. Some medications used to treat ulcerative colitis, such as corticosteroids, can also cause a fever as a side effect.
What Other Symptoms Are Associated with Ulcerative Colitis?
In addition to fever, ulcerative colitis can cause a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Bloody stools
- Mucus in the stool
- Urgency to have a bowel movement
- Weight loss
- Joint pain
The severity and frequency of these symptoms can vary depending on the individual and the stage of the disease.
How Is Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of ulcerative colitis is made through a combination of medical history, physical exam, and diagnostic tests. Your doctor may perform a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy, which involves inserting a thin, flexible tube with a camera into the rectum to examine the lining of the colon and rectum. Other tests, such as blood tests, stool tests, and imaging studies, may also be used to confirm a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis.
What Are the Treatment Options for Ulcerative Colitis?
There is no cure for ulcerative colitis, but treatment can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. The choice of treatment depends on the severity and frequency of symptoms, and can include medications, lifestyle changes, and surgery.
Medications used to treat ulcerative colitis include:
In addition to medications, lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. These may include:
- Eating a low-residue diet
- Avoiding trigger foods
- Managing stress
- Getting regular exercise
- Using probiotics
- Taking supplements
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to manage complications of ulcerative colitis, such as bleeding, perforation, or colon cancer.
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition that can cause a variety of symptoms, including fever. While the link between ulcerative colitis and fever is primarily due to inflammation in the body, other factors, such as infections and medications, can also contribute to fever in people with ulcerative colitis. If you are experiencing symptoms of ulcerative colitis, such as fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or blood in the stool, it is important to talk to your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Q: Does everyone with ulcerative colitis experience fever?
A: No, not everyone with ulcerative colitis will experience fever. Fever is a common symptom of ulcerative colitis, but not everyone will experience it.
Q: Can ulcerative colitis cause a high fever?
A: Yes, ulcerative colitis can cause a high fever, especially during flare-ups or when there is inflammation in the body.
Q: Will treating ulcerative colitis reduce fever?
A: In some cases, treating ulcerative colitis can reduce fever. If the fever is caused by inflammation in the body, medications that reduce inflammation, such as corticosteroids, can help reduce fever.
Q: Can an ulcerative colitis flare-up cause a fever?
A: Yes, an ulcerative colitis flare-up can cause a fever. Flare-ups are periods of increased inflammation and symptoms and can manifest in a variety of ways, including fever.
Q: How long does fever last with ulcerative colitis?
A: The duration of fever associated with ulcerative colitis can vary widely depending on the severity of the inflammation and the individual’s response to treatment. In some cases, fever may resolve quickly once inflammation is reduced, while in others, it may persist for longer periods of time.
- Mayo Clinic. (2021). Ulcerative colitis. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ulcerative-colitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20353326
- Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. (n.d.). Ulcerative colitis. https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/what-is-ulcerative-colitis
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2021). Ulcerative colitis. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/ulcerative-colitis