Just Diagnosed with Left-Side Colitis and Constipated

Hello I am 26 years old and was diagnosed a few days ago with Ulcerative Colitis.

Sunday night I had what I know now to be a flare up.  I was at the grocery store checking out and all of a sudden I got terrible stomach cramping. All I thought was that I had food poisoning, so I quickly drove home (thank God I live less than half a mile from there), and when I got home I had bad diarrhea and after I emptied out, just blood from there on.

Seven years ago I had the same problem happen but I wasn’t properly diagnosed. However, my concern here is that I have always, since I was a child been a constipated person.  I rarely ever have diarrhea and when I do I am kind of happy in a way because that allows me to clean out. These 2 instances have been the only flare ups I have ever had. I do get bloated on occasion and all I would think was that it was related to my constipation. So, I am a little confused here. I don’t understand, if I have Colitis, then why am I usually constipated, very very rarely have diarrhea or loose stool, and could eat anything you can possibly think of in those 7 years from the first flare up and not have any problems?

Does anybody else have similar constipation with Colitis?

-Submitted in the Colitis Venting Area by an Anonymous UC’er

16 thoughts on “Just Diagnosed with Left-Side Colitis and Constipated”

  1. Before the doctors were able to diagnose me with UC, I too was constipated. Often felt like I needed to use the washroom, but once in the washroom no bowel movement would pass. If there’s anything I’ve learned, UC is very un predictable and differs from person to person. I hope I’m as lucky as you and don’t get experience any relapses for years at a time!

  2. Hi there, I spent my teens quite constipated like you and then it turned to going 20 times a day with blood and mucus. I was diagnosed at aged 22 six years ago and since then I have been admitted to hospital on 3 different occasions with severe constipation. I was going 13 times a day yet I was severely impacted in my upper bowel it is called fecal loading. I am now on a laxative all the time because I also have a lazy upper bowel. I now also take note if the amount I am passing is small because this usually means I am getting compacted again and I increase my laxative till I get a bit of a clear out. Constipation can be quite uncomfortable and painful. As a UC’er we should not get too constipated because this can cause the bowel to perforate and we don’t want that! The laxative I am on is called movicol it brings water to the bowel where it is need to move along and wont cause cramping. My GI put me on it. While most UC’ers avoid fiber people like us have to include it in our diet because constipation can be just if not more painful than the big D. I have a balanced diet but if I am flaring badly I will avoid high fiber foods as they will case the bowel to spasm which is painful. If you have been prescribed spasmanol or buscopan for cramps I would be careful these slow down the bowel to reduce cramping and will create more problems with constipation.

    1. Hi Helen,

      I really appreciate you sharing your experience. I am sorry you have had to go through this, and I hope that you keep improving and getting better. I am to see the GI doc in a few weeks since I was seen at the hospital (a month ago) and I will definitely ask about laxatives he may recommend. It has been a month now since my flare up and since then I have just been constipated mainly. However, I have gone to the bathroom twice this week. I have started to make fresh fruit smoothies every morning and I think this has helped. I am following the Specific Carb Diet as well since I was discharged. I am not sure if this is helping with reducing the risk of getting more ulcers but I will continue it. Thank you again for your response.



  3. What an eye opener..
    I am 33yrs old and have been dealing with constipation my whole life -yet at age 14 was when it really started becoming bad..
    I have seen GI , after GI after internal medicine, after GI.. I have expressed my concerns of relatives with chrons, my sister and niece are the same, yet my mom and other sister can’t stop..
    All doc. have said is I most likely don’t have either the UC or chrons cause I’m constipated..
    Flare up are becoming more common and lasting longer.. it hurts to sit at times as the pain is like sitting on a nail – to a knife depending on the strength of pain..
    I can eat – all the fiber does nothing , merilax just gurgles and makes more pain. Lilnsen lax. Shoot way through me with in an hour and makes it feel like my anus is on fire/ or when a baby has really acidy poop..

    I don’t feel like I’m being heard as – like others I have some life changes going on.. yet I know my body and the difference between depression stomach issues and having compacts in your intestine that you can feel..

  4. I too would really appreciate some advice, I came on here after a Google search ‘constipation with UC’ some of your answers are really helpful so far.
    I have been back and forth to my GP for a month now… I am drained of energy all the time, I am constipated, bloated and as well as a constant dull pain, I too experience spasms of sharp pain in various areas of the tummy. I have been on preds to bring down any imflammation, cocodomal for the pain, lactulose for the constipation and another tablet for the spasms (not sure of name) I was advised to drink Senna tea and peppermint and also follow the fodmap diet, used for IBS symptoms. My GP doesn’t know what is causing this as I have had no blood or diarrhoea with this ‘flare’. He thinks I just have IBS as a side on affect to the UC but I know my body and I am not convinced as surely that would involve urgency to go?! He keeps signing me off of work but I struggle with that. Is it normal to ONLY have the constipation symptoms with UC?! I am also very depressed from all this as I just want answers! Maybe you could all help?! :)

    1. Hi Katy…

      For me personally I have learned alot since I wrote my msg. Ask your GI for a” transit test”… you swallow a pill that has little white circles in it, have to get a xray every other day as it measure how your system runs.
      good luck

  5. For me Colitis always starts with bloating and constipation followed by the change in appearance of what comes out and then many trips to the toilet.

    Every time I quit smoking this would happen until I started taking 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil a day. There are many reasons why this is good for UC but it’s also great for keeping things moving.

    I have a long post on here about it if you want all the details and guidance as well as how to optimise this strategy.

    I would say laxatives should be a last resort as they can make things worse over time.

  6. Thank you very much.

    I will have a read up to both strategies suggested.

    I’m off to my GP tomorrow, so have written a list of my symptoms and everything I’ve looked up. Just want to sort something! :(

    1. I am a UC sufferer for past 40 years and it took a long time to reckon with my bouts of constipation. I rarely have diarrhea. What has worked:
      1. Lialda twice a day
      2. Minimal alcohol ingestion.
      3. Elimination of all wheat products.
      4. Elimination of all processed foods containing certain emulsifiers. Do a search on UC and the relationship to emulsifier additives to processed foods – very revealing…
      5. Mesalamine enemas when in an episode.
      6. Mesalamine suppositories (Canada or Rowasa) when I feel an episode coming on.
      7. The hardest and among the most important – 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least 4 times a week.
      It has taken me a lifetime to accept and learn to deal with my UC. I now feel that I am very good at managing my symptoms and have a healthy and happy life without being controlled and limited by my gut.

  7. Hi,

    I’ve been diagnosed with IBS type C (constipation), which was due to too many antibiotics. Fiber supplement with lots of natural fiber during the day helps me poo once a day. I have stomach cramps for an hour or two after going to poo, which had gone away entirely for a few months, but came back after I took a laxative for 3 days. I never have diarrhea and it’s been this way for 6 months. Any chance I could have UC?

    So basically:
    No diarrhea
    Cramps which went away and came back (upper abdomen)
    General fatigue, but I’m able to exercise just fine for an hour, if I must.
    No nausea. no urgency to go poo

  8. I also have left sided uc and constipation, I also just switched doctors. My previous dr seemed to dismiss my ailments only trying to get me on stronger and stronger meds. New doc immediately figured out that the left side was SO inflamed that what I felt was constipation was actually my incredibly inflamed colon. He switched me from Lialda to Apriso and it seems to be doing the trick. Good luck, as others have said, Colitis is incredibly unpredictable.

  9. So after reading all this I am so sad to hear of so many various issues with UC. I as a teen was constipated all the time off and on and trips to ER. Later in life I was fine. then when I became pregnant at age 29 I started to have the bleed. I was diagnosed with UC. I have had it for the last 20 years. I finally found a doctor who put me on Lialda only and it seemed to be working, I had a hysterectomy last year and was feeling wonderful. Now I am showing signs of constipation. So horrible I am in tears dulcolax, mirilax, fiber pills, suppository fleet enema finally kicked it but I felt like I was gonna pass out. Going to see the GI doctor this week. Can’t take this roller coaster anymore. I hope I don’t have a blockage or adhesion from my hysterectomy of worse yet a problem from my back pushing on something. My back is killing me and have been to chiro but I honestly think its from my GI issues now. Its worse when I am having issues.

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