What Are the Symptoms of Colitis?

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Symptoms of colitis include diarrhea that may contain blood, pus or mucous; fever; abdominal pain and cramping; rectal pain and bleeding; the urgent need to defecate and the inability to do so; weight loss and fatigue, according to Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms are anemia, joint pain, redness and swelling, and liver problems, adds WebMD, as well as constipation and gas, according to About.com.

Symptoms of colitis depend on the cause, according to About.com, and where in the colon the inflammation occurs, according to Mayo Clinic. Colitis is inflammation of the large intestine, but the term is generally used to refer to ulcerative colitis, a type of colitis, notes About.com. Colitis is the result of an auto-immune disorder, a bacterial or viral infection, parasites or radiation therapy. The use of certain acne medications, stress, diet and heredity also play a part in the incidence of ulcerative colitis, notes Mayo Clinic. It can occur anywhere in the large intestine.

Tests for the disease include testing stool samples for parasites, white blood cells and other signs of bacterial and viral infections; testing blood samples for anemia and signs of infection; colonoscopy; flexible sigmoidoscopy; X-rays; CT scans; magnetic resonance enterography; and chromoendoscopy, according to Mayo Clinic.