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The symptoms of UC can range from mild to severe depending on how much inflammation the person has and where it occurs. They also tend to come and go, often with extended periods of time (sometimes months or even years) in between flares – called remission periods. Symptoms can include loose, urgent bowel movements, persistent diarrhea with blood in the stool, abdominal pain and/or cramps, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, rectal pain, fever and, in young children, failure to grow.
UC can in some cases cause life-threatening complications including severe bleeding, perforated colon, and severe dehydration. If any of these conditions are present, it constitutes a medical emergency and the person should get immediate medical attention. UC can also cause an increased risk of colon cancer and blood clots in the veins and arteries.