Ulcerative colitis Complications

When the inflammation of ulcerative colitis UC goes untreated or does not respond to treatment, here are some of the complications that may occur:

perforation that goes all the way through the intestinal wall sometimes develops if an ulcer caused by the inflammation is severe. Symptoms of a perforation include severe abdominal pain, fever, chills,nausea, and vomiting. Leakage of the contents of the colon into the abdominal cavity can lead to life-threatening infections and other complications.

Fulminant colitis is a severe form of colitis, usually the pancolitis variety that affects the entire colon. The symptoms include severe pain, profuse diarrhea, dehydration from the diarrhea, and shock.

Toxic megacolon is the most serious—but very rare—complication of ulcerative colitis. It occurs when the inflammation causes the colon to expand, dilate, and distend.  The colon may lose its ability to its to remove gas or feces, so there’s a risk that it may rupture. Symptoms of it include abdominal distension, tenderness and pain, fever, a rapid heart rate, and shock.

Procedures can be done on emergency basis that decompress the colon by removing or releasing the air that has built up inside.

Surgery that involves removing the colon may be needed if the other interventions are ineffective and the toxic megacolon worsens.