Ulcerative colitis is a long-term condition where the overactive immune system attacks the lining of the colon, causing inflammation and ulcers. If the condition is left untreated the symptoms can grow worse and cause the inflammation to potentially spread further along the colon. Ulcerative colitis is a condition that does not get better on it’s own and must be properly treated.

Symptoms of ulcerative colitis can include diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloody stools, and stomach cramps. Without treatment, these symptoms can get worse and make it harder for the person to manage the condition. UC symptoms also come in cycles and can be mild or severe. When a person experiences little to no symptoms, this is called being in remission. A flare-up is when the symptoms suddenly get worse.

Not treating ulcerative colitis can lead to many complications including, loss of appetite, swollen abdomen, fatigue, rapid heartbeat, bleeding from the rectum, nutritional deficiencies, and a greater risk of colon cancer. For children, UC can interfere with growth and overall development when the condition is left untreated.

Read more about risks for untreated ulcerative colitis.