Located in the abdomen, the colon, or large intestine, receives digested food products from the small intestine and pushes them out of the body. When the inner lining of the colon becomes inflamed, this is called colitis. Our experienced colorectal doctors are equipped to diagnosis and treat colitis.
There are no set of causes for colitis, although genetics, environmental factors and a faulty immune system may be factors.
Types of colitis include:
- Infectious colitis – Infectious colitis is caused by the indigestion of food containing disease-causing bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella. Infectious colitis can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration.
- Ischemic colitis – Ischemic colitis occurs when blood supply is reduced to part the colon. It causes pain or cramping and bloody bowel movements.
- Inflammatory bowel disease – Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are two types of inflammatory bowel disease.
- Ulcerative colitis causes ulcers in the rectum and colon. It can occur at any age, but normally occurs between the ages of 15 and 30. It is caused by over activity of the immune system and causes abdominal pain, bloody diarrheal bowel movements.
- Crohn’s disease most commonly affects the lower part of the small intestine, stomach or colon. It can also occur at any age but it most often affects adults. Symptoms include abdominal pain and diarrhea.
- Microscopic colitis – Microscopic colitis is an uncommon illness that usually affects older women. It is caused by a build-up of white blood cells in the colon lining. It can cause abdominal pain or bloating.
Although symptoms and treatments may vary for each type of colitis, the primary symptoms of colitis include but are not limited to the following:
- Cramp-like pain in the lower abdomen
- Watery and/or bloody diarrhea
- Weight loss
- Possibly fever and malaise
Please visit your physician if you experience bloody stool or have persistent diarrhea.
Because there is no cure for colitis, treatment for usually involves controlling the symptoms such as dehydration and abdominal pain until your doctor can give an accurate diagnosis.
Tests that your doctor may perform to determine the treatment may include:
Treatment options for colitis include but are not limited to the following:
- Changes in diet
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
For more information on how we diagnose and treat colitis or for an appointment, please call 501-686-8211.