Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease have some complications in common and others that are specific to each condition. Complications found in both conditions may include:

  • Colon cancer. Having ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease that affects most of your colon can increase your risk of colon cancer. Screening for cancer with a colonoscopy at regular intervals begins usually about 8 to 10 years after the diagnosis is made. Ask your doctor when and how frequently you need to have this test done.
  • Skin, eye and joint inflammation. Certain disorders, including arthritis, skin lesions and eye inflammation (uveitis), may occur during IBD flare-ups.
  • Medication side effects. Certain medications for IBD are associated with a risk of infections. Some carry a small risk of developing certain cancers. Corticosteroids can be associated with a risk of osteoporosis, high blood pressure and other conditions.
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis. In this rather uncommon condition seen in people with IBD, inflammation causes scarring within the bile ducts. This scarring eventually narrows the ducts, restricting bile flow. This can eventually cause liver damage.
  • Blood clots.IBD increases the risk of blood clots in veins and arteries.
  • Severe dehydration. Excessive diarrhea can result in dehydration.

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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic. (2022, September 3). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/inflammatory-bowel-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20353315