Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
- What is colitis?
- What are the causes (types) of colitis?
- Infectious colitis
- Ischemic colitis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Microscopic colitis
- What are the symptoms of colitis?
- When should I contact my doctor about colitis?
- How is colitis diagnosed?
- How is colitis treated?
- What is the prognosis for a patient with colitis?
- Colitis At A Glance
- Patient Comments: Colitis - Symtoms
- Patient Comments: Colitis - Treatments
- Patient Comments: Colitis - Describe Your Experience
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
What is colitis?
- loss of blood
supply to the colon,
- inflammatory bowel disease, and
- invasion of the colon wall with collagen or lymphocytic white blood cells.
Anatomy of the colon
The colon is a hollow, muscular tube that receives products of digestion from the small intestine and ultimately eliminates them from the body through the anus. The colon is located in the abdomen and has numerous sections that are named based on their location. Colitis can affect different sections of the colon.
- The colon begins in the
right lower abdomen with the cecum
(located just above the appendix) into which the
products of digestion empty from the small intestine.
- The ascending portion of the colon then ascends from
the lower to the upper right side of the abdomen.
- It traverses the abdomen as
the transverse portion of the colon from the right upper to left upper abdomen
before descending from the upper to the lower left side of the abdomen.
- The last portions of the colon are the sigmoid colon low in the abdomen and finally the anus.
The colon also has several layers. The mucosa (inner layer or lining) comes into contact with the products of digestion and fluid and actively removes water and electrolytes to help solidify the feces. A layer of smooth muscle (a special type of muscle) surrounds the inner layer and is responsible for squeezing and mixing the undigested food and transporting it through the length of the colon to the anus.
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