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
- Colitis facts
- What is colitis?
- What are the causes (types) of colitis?
- Infectious colitis
- Ischemic colitis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Microscopic colitis
- Allergic colitis in infants
- 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?
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
Inflammatory bowel disease
Ulcerative colitis always begins in the rectum may spread to the rest of the rest of the colon, moving from the rectum to the sigmoid, descending, transverse, and finally ascending colon. It is consisdered an autoimmune disease and symptoms include abdominal pain, and bloody, diarrheal bowel movements.
Crohn's disease may occur anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract (GI), including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon. In Crohn's disease there may be "skip lesions," that is, abnormal segments of the GI tract interspersed with normal segments.
There are two types of microscopic colitis, 1) collagenous colitis and 2) lymphocytic colitis. Either collagen or lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) infiltrate into the layers of the wall of the colon, presumably a result of inflammation. This is an uncommon illness and may be an auto-immune disease. The diarrhea often is watery, and no blood is present in the stool.
Allergic colitis in infants
In infants younger than one year of age, colitis is often due to allergies to cow or soy milk. Allergic colitis may be seen in breastfed babies, where mothers drink cow's milk and pass that protein into their breast milk.
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