There are some types of colitis and other conditions that can cause inflammation of the colon.
Viruses, bacteria, and parasites can cause infectious colitis. a person with infectious colitis will have diarrhea and fever, and a stool sample will be positive for enteropathogens such as:
- escherichia coli (e.coli)
- abdominal cramps and pain
- changes in appetite
- bloody stool
- feeling the urge to defecate more often
- unexplained weight loss
- abdominal pain and more abdominal sounds than usual
- bloody stool
- rectal pain
- unexplained weight loss
- Lymphocytic colitis has an increased number of lymphocytes and the tissues and lining of the colon are of normal thickness.
- In collagenous colitis, the layer of collagen under the lining of the colon is thicker than normal.
- autoimmune diseases
- certain medications
Depending on the cause of the infection, infectious colitis can be contracted from contaminated water, foodborne illness, or poor hygiene.
Pseudomembranous colitis is another type of infectious colitis. also known as antibiotic-associated colitis or c. diff colitis because it is the result of an overgrowth of Clostridium difficile bacteria.
The most common cause is the use of antibiotics that interfere with the balance of healthy bacteria in the colon.
inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 3 million U.S. Adults had IBD as of 2015. IBD is a group of chronic diseases that cause inflammation in the digestive tract. many conditions fall under the ibd umbrella, but the two main types are:
Crohn’s disease causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract. Any part of the digestive tract can be affected, but it most often develops in the ileum, the last part of the small intestine.
The early symptoms of Crohn’s disease may develop slowly over time, and some may worsen. These symptoms may include:
Treatment typically includes anti-inflammatory drugs, immunomodulators (drugs that affect the immune system), antibiotics, or biologics (designed drugs that target certain proteins or genotypes that cause inflammation).
This causes chronic inflammation and ulcers in the innermost lining of the colon and rectum. people with ulcerative colitis have an increased risk of colon cancer.
Some of the most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis are:
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition and the goal of treatment is to reduce flare-ups. treatment options may be similar to crohn’s disease. these may include anti-inflammatory drugs, biologics, and immunomodulators.
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Surgery may be an option with debilitating symptoms, a perforation of the colon, or severe obstructions.
Ischemic colitis occurs when blood flow to part of the colon is reduced. this prevents the cells in your digestive system from getting the oxygen they need.
It is usually caused by narrowed or blocked arteries. People who are 60 years of age or older, who have IB, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, or a bleeding disorder may be at increased risk of ischemic colitis.
Ischemic colitis can affect any part of your colon, but you usually feel pain on the left side of your abdomen. it can happen gradually or suddenly.
Symptoms on your right side may indicate blocked arteries in your small intestine that can rapidly cause necrosis of intestinal tissue. this is life-threatening and requires urgent surgery to remove the obstruction and remove the damaged portion.
Allergic colitis is more common in infants than adults and may be temporary. the inflammation is an allergic reaction to the proteins found in cow’s milk. A baby with an inflamed colon may be irritable, have gas, and have blood or mucus in the stool. anemia and malnutrition are also possible.
Eosinophilic colitis is similar to allergic colitis. when it occurs in an infant, it usually resolves in early childhood. in adolescents and adults, the condition is often chronic.
The exact cause of eosinophilic colitis is not always known, although cow’s milk proteins often make symptoms worse. people with a personal or family history of allergies and asthma appear to be at increased risk.
Microscopic colitis can only be seen through a microscope. It is characterized by an increase in lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cell, in the lining of the colon.
There are two types of microscopic colitis, and although both show an increase in lymphocytes, each type affects the colon tissue differently:
The cause of microscopic colitis is unknown, but researchers believe it may be related to:
Symptoms of this type of colitis often come and go, and sometimes go away without treatment.
Certain medications, primarily nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), have been linked to inflammation of the colon in some people. Older people and people with a history of long-term NSAID use seem to be at the highest risk of developing this type of colitis.