Joint Pain with UC

Can Anyone Give Me Some Information

on Colitis and Joint Pains?

I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2003 but suffered symptoms since I was 15, I’m now 41. and have 3 children.  Doctors just kept telling me it was irritable bowel syndrome, it wasn’t until I went back to my GP in tears as i couldn’t take the constant running to the loo day and night, everything I ate went straight through me it was completely ruining my life.  I was finding it difficult to leave the house and do simple chores like shopping.  My general practitioner referred me to see a doctor at hospital who also kept telling me it was irritable bowel syndrome until after having a very painful colonoscopy done the doctors finally diagnosed ulcerative colitis and i was put on steroid and Pentasa.

I now have my ulcerative colitis under control and take no medication for it.   All I take is 1 Actimel everyday and that seems to work for me, my problem is from may this year I have been in agony with lower back pain which seems to be worse in the middle of the night, which does not help that i have to get up at 4.45am to go to work.   I’m so tired and lacking in energy due to lack of sleep, my back pain has got alot worse that I recently visited my general practitioner and he said I also have fluid on my joints which would explain why my knees are so painful.

I am like a woman of 90 years old getting out of bed.

Can anyone please help? Is this part of having ulcerative colitis? My gp has referred me to see a rhuematolgy doctor, just waiting for appointment to come, has anyone else had joint problems with ulcerarative colisits and how is the best way to treat joint pain? I have not had a flare up for quite a few months now which is why i,m thinking is this joint pain anything to do with my colitis?


written by Sue

submitted in the Colitis Venting Area

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9 thoughts on “Joint Pain with UC”

  1. Yes, unfortunately joint pain is one of the symptoms of UC. Not everyone experiences it though. My ankles swelled up & it was so painful that I could barely walk. I even saw an orthopedic specialist who could find nothing wrong with them. Since I’ve gotten most of my symptoms under control I haven’t had any joint pain. All I did was take over-the-counter medications for it, and I lived with a heating pad next to me for a few months. My doctors didn’t want me on any prescription painkillers because they felt that it would make me constipated (that’s the last thing I need!). Ask your GI doctor for any recommendations as to what to do. Hopefully you’ll feel better soon! :)

    1. been back to see my gp and blood tests were all clear, so sending me see another doctor in 3 weeks to have more tests done to try and find out whats causing me so much pain, also diagnosed me as having carpal tunnel syndrome in my hand, he,s put me on strong co codamol but has warned they could make me constipated, fingers crossed that doc tors can find out whats causing pain because my back and knees are agony, my colitis is under control which is why i,m puzzled as to joint pain,its nice to know that it could be caused through uc and hopefully get to the bottom of it

      1. Hi Sue. I also have horrible joint pain with my UC. Drinking a gallon of water throughout the day clears it up. I’m a big guy so you may not need to drink that much, increase your water intake slowly if your not doing this already. Hope this helps, Ethan

        1. Ethan,
          I’m wondering if you expand on your water intake-joint pain correlation situation? How you figured that out , how well it works for you, how severe your joint pain can get that this helped?(are you just stiff alot or did u used to wake up with pain @ 3am every-night?
          Obviously I will follow your advise as I would love to get off Humira which is a scary scary medicine although it is doing the job for my crazy UC -related arthritis.
          Thanks alot!

  2. Yes, UC can cause lower back and pelvis pain. I have it so bad sometimes it’s really hard for me to walk.

    Take care and I wish you good luck!!!

    1. Interesting that you mention the lower back pain! Before my symptoms for this flare started (this was before I was diagnosed so I didnt even know it was a flare) I had intensely painful lower back pain! It lasted for 10-14 days and then the diarrhea started pretty much right after the pain went away. I attributed the backpain to heavy lifting and sitting on an airplane for 10h. Now I’m thinking there may be a connection to the UC. Ever since I have been diagnosed however, I did notice other joint pain in my wrists, knees, but the worst is the neck pain.

    2. Thanks, I know its not nice to say that i,m glad others have had the same problem but it is such a relief to know that it could be connected to ulcerative colitis, because i was starting get a bit worried that it could be something unconnected, i,ll let u know wot the outcome of visit to reumatology doc is?. take csre xxxx

  3. Hi Sue,
    You must see a rheumotologist and ask to be put in Humira right away!!!! It has saved my life. I had crazy peripheral joint pain( no back pain but pain that through my experience has travelled b/w both knees, both feet, shoulders(unimaginable pain), fingers, hands, wrists, elbows…) that accompanied my UC daignosis. Originally I was put on Lialda for my colon and then saw a rheumotologist about my joint pain, and was put on .10 of prednisone. The prednisone really helped my joints. A few months later I was scoped again at my GI to see how my colon was progressing and because it was 99% cleared up and looking great my GI said to talk to my rhemua about getting off prednisone asap, as I am 22 and steroids are bad for bone density and all. I weaned off prednisone and BAM the joint pain came back with full force, it would wake my up 1-2 in midd of the night it would hurt so much, it would take me 30 min to put my shirt on, while crying in the morning. I was on a few prescription pain killers from my rheuma specifically for joint pain, these are terrible for your colon like advil and motrin are no-nos and while temporarily helping a tiny bit with the pain, where bad for my colon and joint pain. My rheuma suggested I go on .5 prednisone for a bit while I thought about humira b/c I was really scared of going on it. that small amount of prednisone did nothing for me. Oh and I eventually got a bone density scan and found out that prednisone had made me osteopenic(lost bone mass)putting me at risk for osteopeross, all fun stuff. So stay away from prednisone. I got a second opinion b4 I went on the humira. Originally it was though that maybe I had a second autoimmune disease that attached my joints b/c my colon seemed to be doing so well. After getting scoped for the 3rd time in my life and finding out that once again I was 99% in colon remission, the new disease was ruled out, the new rheuma said Iits all only UC related and I was put on Humira. Since Aug when I started humira I have been 99% joint pain free, humira worked within the first week of taking it. It isnt well tested and has some side effects that occur in ppl, but Sue, if your joint pain is as bad and incapaciting as mine (I coudnlt walk sometimes, couldnt use my hand or a full arm other days, had to have ppl put my shirt on for me(and i am 22 yrs old, not an old lady!!)IT IS 100% WORTH IT. you will forget that pain ever existed. Go for it.

  4. Hey Jackie,

    I have had issues with UC for years, but was only diagnosed in 2011, along with GERD (reflux). The diets for both conditions clash, and I struggle to keep my weight stable. I was flare up free for about 8 months until I ate something that set it off, and it was game on with both conditions. I take Apriso and Dexilant daily, and my Gastro Doc prescribes Canasa when I have a flare up. I have done my best to stay away from drugs like prednisone, and Humara, and pain killers like Advil but I too get terrible knee and back pain. My family has a history of digestive issues, but I am the only one who has ever been diagnosed. UC has also caused vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Supplements only work for me when everything calms down. Right now they are useless. But bones are made up of important minerals like calcium and magnesium. If your body is deficient in either one of them your body will take it from the easiest source possible, your bones. It might be why we experience joint and bone pain.

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