What Are Different Types of Colitis?

Different types of colitis include ulcerative colitis, microscopic colitis, ischemic colitis, infectious colitis and Crohn’s disease, notes University of California Irvine. Colitis can also arise as a side effect of radiation treatments. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are both types of inflammatory bowel disorders. Infectious colitis can be caused by parasitic, viral or bacterial infections. Ischemic colitis is caused by a lack of blood flow to the colon. Microscopic colitis occurs when white blood cells invade the colon wall.

While different types of colitis cause many similar symptoms, such as bloody stools, fever, diarrhea or persistent abdominal pain, some types are more dangerous than others and must be treated differently, explains UC Irvine. Most cases of infectious colitis resolve themselves within a few days, or antibiotics can effect a cure. Inflammatory bowel diseases require medical treatment over time and occasionally require surgery. Doctors treat microscopic colitis with medications like immunosuppressants and steroids, and surgery is rarely needed. Increased water intake is needed for all types of colitis to prevent dehydration.

Colitis is a general term for the inflammation of the inner lining of the colon, states UC Irvine. Doctors diagnose the particular type through an examination of symptoms, colonoscopies and CT scans.