What Causes Colitis and How Do You Treat It?


Quick Answer

Causes of colitis include certain infections, ischemic colitis, pseudomembranous colitis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, but treatment of the disease depends on the cause, explains MedlinePlus. Individuals should consult doctors if they vomit consistently or experience extreme abdominal pain.

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What Causes Colitis and How Do You Treat It?
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Full Answer

Colitis refers to inflammation of the inner lining of the large intestines and generally has symptoms such as diarrhea, bloody stools, dehydration, bloating and abdominal discomfort, notes MedlinePlus. Food toxins as a result of bacterial infection, viruses and parasites cause colitis. Ischemic colitis occurs due to insufficient blood supply to the colon. Previous radiations done to the large intestines and necrotizing enterocolitis, which is the damage of the colon cells in premature and sick babies, may cause colitis.

Tests that can be done to diagnose the disease include flexible sigmoidoscopy, barium enema, magnetic resonance imaging and CT scan, according to MedlinePlus. Altering the diet and taking steroids, anti-diarrhea, aminosalicylates or enema medicines may alleviate symptoms of ulcerative colitis, states WebMD. Surgery; immunomodulator medicines, which inhibit inflammation; or biologics can treat severe ulcerative colitis.

Fecal replacement therapy, antibiotics and surgery may treat pseudomembranous colitis, says Mayo Clinic. To prevent this problem from recurring, patients should change or use more antibiotics, or take probiotics as well as change diet and drink enough fluids. Eating several times but in small quantities may aid in relieving the problem.

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