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.
In this Article
- 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
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
The colon can be thought of as a hollow muscle. It requires a supply of blood to bring oxygen and nutrients in order for the muscles to function normally. When the colon loses its supply of blood and becomes ischemic (isch= restricted + emia=blood supply), it may become inflamed. Ischemia or lack of blood supply causes pain, fever, and bloody bowel movements.
- As a person ages, the arteries that supply blood to the colon gradually
narrow and can cause ischemic colitis. These arteries narrow even faster if the
individual has diseases that promote narrowing of the arteries, for example,
high blood pressure, high
- Ischemia also may be brought on by
low blood pressure or
anemia (low red blood cell count) in association with the arterial narrowing, since these
further reduce blood flow.
- The blood supply to the colon may be compromised because the blood vessels are mechanically obstructed, for example by a twisting of the bowel (volvulus) or a herniation of the colon through a small opening in the tissues within the abdomen (an incarcerated hernia).
Viewers share their comments
- Submit »
Find out what women really need.