People may experience fever as a symptom of ulcerative colitis (UC) or as a complication of the condition. A person should consult a gastroenterologist to determine the possible cause and a suitable treatment plan.
UC is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that usually causes gastrointestinal symptoms. However, people may also have symptoms that affect other body parts and experience more generalized symptoms, such as fever and chills.
This article explores the link between UC and fever. It also discusses how to treat fever and when to consult a doctor.
Fever is the body’s typical response to infection and inflammation. Experts commonly associate it with severe UC and the possible complications that may arise. However, some people with a mild case of the condition may still experience fever as a symptom.
UC is a lifelong condition that causes inflammation of the large intestine. It commonly begins in the rectum and spreads upward to the colon.
Many people with IBD may experience fever as one of the symptoms, which often start gradually.
A person will likely experience alternating periods of remission, during which they have few or no symptoms, and flare-ups, when the disease is active.
Some of the main symptoms
Fulminant colitis is a subtype of severe UC that produces signs of increased toxicity, including fever and unintentional weight loss. The condition can also
- more than 10 stools per day
- abdominal pain
- continuous bleeding
Fever can also indicate the presence of complications. One common complication associated with fulminant colitis is toxic megacolon. This condition involves the large intestine losing muscle tone within days to hours, causing it to expand. This may cause a high fever and abdominal pain.
Sometimes, UC can also be the
People should speak with a doctor to determine what may be causing their symptoms.
The treatment of UC depends on the extent and severity of the disease. The first-line treatment is anti-inflammatory medications, such as sulfasalazine and 5-aminosalicylates.
If a person’s fever results from fulminant colitis or toxic megacolon, they may require hospitalization. In the hospital, they will receive IV fluids and electrolytes. Doctors administer these medications directly into the bloodstream.
A doctor may also recommend bowel rest, which requires a person to refrain from eating food by mouth. This gives the digestive system time to heal. A person may have a nasogastric tube fitted to help decompress the stomach.
- a Hartmann pouch
A person should consult a doctor immediately if they are experiencing:
- new or increased bleeding
- constant abdominal pain
- a high, persistent fever
- symptoms that persist or worsen
- new symptoms
Fever is the body’s response to inflammation. As UC is a type of IBD, this may be one of the symptoms a person experiences as part of the body’s inflammatory response.
However, doctors more often associate it with severe or more extensive UC. It may also be a side effect of medications or other associated complications.
A person with UC who experiences high or persistent fever with or without other symptoms should contact a doctor for a prompt diagnosis and treatment.