Colitis

Colitis is inflammation of the colon. Colitis can be a short-term or long-standing (chronic) illness. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are 2 types of colitis which are chronic. They usually require lifelong treatment.

CAUSES

There are many different causes of colitis, including:

  • Viruses.

  • Germs (bacteria).

  • Medicine reactions.

SYMPTOMS

  • Diarrhea.

  • Intestinal bleeding.

  • Pain.

  • Fever.

  • Throwing up (vomiting).

  • Tiredness (fatigue).

  • Weight loss.

  • Bowel blockage.

DIAGNOSIS

The diagnosis of colitis is based on examination and stool or blood tests. X-rays, CT scan, and colonoscopy may also be needed.

TREATMENT

Treatment may include:

  • Fluids given through the vein (intravenously).

  • Bowel rest (nothing to eat or drink for a period of time).

  • Medicine for pain and diarrhea.

  • Medicines (antibiotics) that kill germs.

  • Cortisone medicines.

  • Surgery.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Get plenty of rest.

  • Drink enough water and fluids to keep your urine clear or pale yellow.

  • Eat a well-balanced diet.

  • Call your caregiver for follow-up as recommended.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You develop chills.

  • You have an oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C), not controlled by medicine.

  • You have extreme weakness, fainting, or dehydration.

  • You have repeated vomiting.

  • You develop severe belly (abdominal) pain or are passing bloody or tarry stools.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.