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How do you prevent colitis?

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Cleanliness is key to preventing infectious colitis, explains eMedicineHealth. Not washing hands frequently and failing to practice adequate kitchen hygiene allows for the spread of colitis infections in developed countries. In third-world countries, a lack of proper sanitation and clean drinking water leads to thousands of infectious colitis deaths every year.

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Ischemic colitis develops due to a narrowing of the blood vessels that travel to the bowel, notes eMedicineHealth. Reducing risk for other circulatory problems, such as heart attack, stroke and peripheral artery disease also helps reduce a person's risk for ischemic colitis. Common risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking.

As of 2015, doctors believe that hereditary risk factors make certain people particularly susceptible to inflammatory bowel disease that leads to colitis, according to eMedicineHealth. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are the two types of bowel disease that cause colitis, explains MedicineNet.

Colitis is an inflammation of the lining of the colon, reports MedicineNet. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating and bloody stool. The abdominal pain typically worsens during bowel movements. Fatigue, fever, chills, weakness and lightheadedness may also occur, depending on the cause of the colitis.

Treatment for patients with infectious colitis involves supportive care and sometimes requires antibiotics. Colitis caused by inflammatory bowel disease requires life-long treatment to manage symptoms, according to MedicineNet.

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