What is it?
Colitis (ko-li-tis) is an irritation of the colon, which is also called the bowel or large intestine (in-tes-tin). The colon is a 5 to 6 foot long muscular tube inside your abdomen (belly) where stool is formed. The colon runs from your small intestine to your anus (rear end). Colitis causes inflammation (redness, pain, and swelling) and ulcers (sores) in the top layers of the lining of the colon. Colitis occurs most often in people 15 to 40 years old, but children and older people can also get colitis.
Signs and Symptoms:
The signs and symptoms of colitis may come and go any time. The inflammation kills cells lining the colon and causes the colon to empty, often resulting in diarrhea. Ulcers are formed where the cells were killed. The ulcers bleed, putting blood, pus, and mucous into your stool. You may also have one or more of the following signs and symptoms.
Blood and BM samples may be tested to learn what is causing the colitis. A colon biopsy may be taken during either a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy procedure and sent to a lab. The results will help caregivers learn more about your colitis. Medicine, rest, or a special diet may be used to treat your colitis. You may need to go into the hospital for further tests and treatment. There is no cure for colitis.
Herbs and Supplements:
Before taking any herbs or supplements, ask your caregiver if it is OK. Talk to your caregiver about how much you should take. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the label. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to. The herbs and supplements listed may or may not help treat your condition.
Screening Tests: There is a higher risk of colon cancer if you have had colitis longer than 10 years. Ask your caregiver how often you should have a colonoscopy procedure to be sure you do not have colon cancer. You may need a bone density test if you have been on immunosuppressant medicine for a long time. This medicine group increases the risk of osteoporosis, also known as "brittle bone disease."
Other ways of treating your symptoms : Other ways to treat your symptoms are available to you.
Talk to your caregiver if:
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. You can then discuss treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care may be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
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Last Updated: 6/13/2013
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