Learn More About The Causes and Symptoms of Colitis

Many people suffer from colitis (or ulcerative colitis as it’s more correctly known). Colitis is a bowel disease. The inflammation within the bowels causes painful ulcers within the digestive tract. Colitis affects both the colon and the rectum of a person. Some cases are minor, however, oftentimes colitis can become a truly debilitating disease. In addition, the complications of colitis can lead to potentially fatal consequences. Since colitis is both life threatening and troubling on a day to day basis, people need to get treatment as soon as possible. Recognizing the symptoms of colitis can allow for treatment to be more effective and reduce the issues of the symptoms. In some cases, colitis can even go into remission! 

Causes of Colitis

While the cause of colitis isn’t fully pinpointed, there are several factors which seem to play a role in getting it. It’s believed that some people get colitis from their genetics and from other family members which have had it. It’s also possible that colitis is due to problems in the immune system. There are also additional risk factors and criteria that put people at higher risk. These include: 

  • Ethnicity - Typically, people of white skin have the most cases of colitis, but it is possible for people of any ethnicity to get it. 
  • History - If your parents, siblings, grandparents or children have colitis, you are at a higher risk. 
  • Age - Unlike many diseases, colitis tends to occur earlier in life. Most people get it before the age of 30, though there are still some cases of people getting colitis in their 60s and 70s as well. 

Symptoms of Colitis

The symptoms of colitis will often start off gently. As time progresses, they can either remain mild, or progress and become more serious. Many people have periods of remission where they suffer no symptoms whatsoever for a while, before it comes back. Symptoms of colitis to look out for include: 

  • Diarrhea - This can be painful and often has blood and/or pus within  it. 
  • Pain - Pain can occur in the rectal or abdominal areas. 
  • Bleeding - Rectal bleeding is possible and typically is common with small amounts of stool as well. 
  • Abdominal Cramping - This is a common symptom and often quite painful. 
  • Defecation Issues - These can manifest in a few different ways. Some people feel intense urges to defecate, while others are unable to do so despite those feelings. 
  • Fever - Like almost every condition, colitis can cause people to feel a fever. 
  • Weight Loss - Many people with colitis lose weight, which can be exacerbated when they feel less inclined to eat due to the pain and issues later. 

Each person’s symptoms can vary depending on where the inflammation is occurring within the colon. It’s important to check with a doctor if experiencing any of the symptoms. 

Treatment of Colitis

The possible complications of colitis are incredibly dangerous. Some people can suffer from bone loss, liver disease, severe bleeding, colon cancer, blood clots or suffering from a toxic megacolon. If those sound terrifying, it’s because they are. This is part of why treatment is so important. 

Treatment for colitis will typically start with medication. There are a few different types of medication which will probably be prescribed. Some will work to suppress the immune system to reduce the inflammation. Others will take specific anti-inflammatory medications. Other medication will target the symptoms. They will try to reduce the pain people feel and limit the severe diarrhea that many are undergoing. The most serious potential treatment for colitis is surgery. In these cases, it’s likely a person will have their colon removed entirely.

Disclaimer: Information on this website is not meant to encourage the self-management of any health or wellness issue. Nor is it meant to encourage any one type of medical treatment. Any treatment or advice used may have varying results between individuals. Readers with health-related questions, are always encouraged to seek proper consultation with a physician or certified healthcare provider. No information on this website should be used to ignore any medical or health-related advice, nor should it be the root cause for a delay in a consultation with a physician or a certified healthcare provider.

No information on this website should be used to start the use of dietary supplements and vitamins, natural and herbal products, homeopathic medicine and other mentioned products prior to a consultation with a physician or certified healthcare provider.