Colitis is an inflammation of the inner lining of the colon, affecting people of all genders and ages. It's vital to understand its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and self-care measures.

What Causes Colitis?

  • Infections: Can be due to bacteria, viruses, or parasites.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Conditions like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
  • Ischemia: Lack of blood flow to the colon.
  • Food Allergens: Some food allergies can lead to colitis.

Recognising the Symptoms of Colitis

Depending on the cause, colitis symptoms can vary, but commonly include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea, sometimes accompanied by mucus in the stool Other potential symptoms are:
  • Fever and chills, often resulting from an infection
  • Fatigue

How is Colitis Diagnosed?

  • Patient Evaluation: Assessing patient history, including symptoms and past medical conditions.
  • Physical Examination: Checking the abdomen and other relevant areas.
  • Laboratory Tests: Blood tests and stool analysis.
  • Advanced Diagnostic Tools: Procedures like colonoscopy, barium enema, computed tomography (CT) scan, biopsy, and more.

Effective Treatment for Colitis

  • Addressing the Underlying Cause: This can involve prescribing antibiotics for bacterial infections or treating conditions like ulcerative colitis.
  • Symptomatic Relief: Medications for abdominal pain, anti-diarrhea drugs, fever reducers, fluids for dehydration, parasite treatments, etc.

Self-Care Recommendations for Colitis Patients

  • Adhere strictly to doctor’s advice and complete all prescribed medication courses. Avoid self-medication or sudden discontinuation.
  • Consume clean and safe food and water.
  • Steer clear of potential allergens and sources of diarrhea.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking ample water.
  • Engage in regular exercise.
  • Ensure you attend all scheduled medical check-ups.