Colitis refers to inflammation of the colon, and may present with abdominal pain, diarrhea and bleeding from the intestines.
What is Colitis?
Colitis means inflammation of the colon, and may present with abdominal pain, diarrhea and bleeding from the intestines. This can occur related to infection (such as E. Coli or Salmonella), lack of blood flow (ischemia) or chronic inflammatory conditions. The appropriate treatment hinges on making a correct diagnosis as early as possible.
An increasingly common form of colitis is called inflammatory bowel disease, generally divided up into Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Ulcerative colitis affects only the colon, while Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the intestinal tract. These conditions are chronic illnesses which require monitoring and frequently need medications to keep them under control.
Many of the symptoms overlap with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, and your doctor may need to perform tests to help make the right diagnosis. These may include blood and stool tests as well as colonoscopy. The sooner colitis is identified and treated, the better the outcome in most case.
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