If you’re having a lot of diarrhea, you’re not absorbing nutrients efficiently from your food, and you’re not eating as much because it causes abdominal cramping and nausea, it’s pretty clear why you might then experience weight loss with ulcerative colitis, suggests CCF. If you’re dropping pounds unexpectedly, without trying, talk to your doctor about the possibility of ulcerative colitis.
It’s normal to get diarrhea once in a while, after some very greasy BBQ, a bout of food poisoning, or certainly when you have a stomach flu, but the kind of diarrhea that happens with ulcerative colitis is chronic, at least during a flare-up. (Most people with ulcerative colitis have periods of remission that can last for weeks or years, so even “chronic” symptoms may be only temporary, for as long as the flare-up lasts). The urge to empty the colon may be brought on by eating certain foods that don’t agree with you, or from emotional distress. And because with ulcerative colitis, there’s irritation or swelling and sores (or ulcers) on the inner lining of the large intestine, the diarrhea stool may also contain blood or mucus from the irritated colon, according to the Mayo Clinic. In fact, bloody diarrhea is the hallmark of ulcerative colitis. Here’s how to tell if you might have Crohn’s disease.