Colitis is a digestive disease characterized by inflammation of the colon. There are several types of colitis, including ulcerative colitis, Crohn's Disease, ischemic colitis, infectious colitis, and atypical colitis. more...
Signs and symptoms
Signs and symptoms of colitis include pain, tenderness in the abdomen, fever, swelling of the colon tissue, bleeding, erythema (redness) of the surface of the colon, bleeding, and ulcerations of the colon. Tests that show these signs are plain X-rays of the colon, testing the stool for blood and pus, and colonoscopy. Additional tests include stool cultures and blood tests such as a complete blood count, C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and a blood chemistry tests.
A well known subtype of colitis is pseudomembranous colitis, resulting from infection by a toxigenic strain of Clostridium difficile. Other parasitic infections can also cause colitis.
Any colitis which has a rapid downhill clinical course is known as fulminant colitis, which is characterized by severe bloody diarrhea, fever, hypovolemia, and anemia. This type is seen in 5-15% ulcerative colitis patients.
Irritable bowel syndrome is separate disease which has been called spastic colitis. This name causes confusion since colitis is not a feature of irritable bowel syndrome.
Autistic enterocolitis is a disputed medical entity but refers to a type of colitis found in patients with autism.
Treatment of colitis may include the administration of antibiotics and general anti-inflammatory medications such as Mesalamine or it's derivatives; steroids, or one of a number of other drugs that downregulate inflammation. Surgery is sometimes needed, especially in cases of fulminant colitis.
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