What Causes Colitis?


Quick Answer

Colitis is the inflammation of the large intestine. There are different types of colitis. Ulcerative colitis is caused by the immune system overreacting to bacteria and food in the digestive tract, pseudomembranous colitis is caused by too much of the bacterium Clostridium difficile in the intestine; and ischemic colitis is caused by blood clots restricting blood flow to the colon, according to Healthline.

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What Causes Colitis?
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Full Answer

MedlinePlus notes that colitis can also be caused by viral and parasitic infections and past exposure to radiation to the large intestine. Colitis is diagnosed by performing CT scans and MRI tests of the abdomen and X-rays of the colon after injecting it with barium. A colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy show the colon and rectum to enable the study of their condition.

Ulcerative colitis is treated using medications that reduce the inflammation in the colon and decrease the frequency of the symptoms. According to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, some foods can worsen symptoms for patients with colitis; a change of diet and maintaining proper nutrition is encouraged. Surgery is an option for those who do not experience significant improvement from other treatments. A colectomy, or the removal of the colon, can effectively cure ulcerative colitis.

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