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What are the symptoms and treatment options for colitis?

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The symptoms of colitis include abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea or diarrhea with pus, rectal pain and bleeding, says Mayo Clinic. Treatment for colitis is usually medication or surgery.

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Other symptoms of colitis include a great urge to defecate but being unable to do so, unexplained weight loss, tiredness and fever, explains Mayo Clinic. However, the severity and type of symptoms depend on where the disease is located in the colon. The symptoms of most patients who suffer from colitis are relatively mild, and many people have periods where they are asymptomatic.

Colitis patients are often started on anti-inflammatory medications such as aminosalicylates and corticosteroids, according to Mayo Clinic. These drugs reduce the inflammation in the colon. The method by which these drugs are administered depends on where the disease is in the colon. They can be taken by mouth, enemas or suppositories. Other drugs suppress the immune system as colitis is considered an autoimmune disease. Some of these drugs have serious side effects, and the patient must stay in contact with her doctor while taking them. Colitis patients also take iron supplements, antibiotics, medicines to control diarrhea and pain relievers. Surgery removes both the colon and the rectum. As of 2015, in many cases, the latest surgical techniques make a bag to collect stool unnecessary.

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