What causes ulcerative colitis?
The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown. Hereditary, infectious and immunological factors have been proposed as possible causes.
What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
- The symptoms of ulcerative colitis can vary considerably.
- The disease is characterised by periods with diarrhoea, mixed with pus, blood, and mucus, which alternate with periods of few or no symptoms.
- When the colitis is active, the patient often has mild stomach pains, and sometimes a fever.
- The symptoms vary according to the extent of the disease. A quarter of patients only have the disease in the rectum, which means that the symptoms are fairly mild. In one third of patients, the disease also affects the lower part of the large intestine. In the remaining patients, ulcerative colitis affects all of the large intestine.