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
Inflammatory bowel disease
Ulcerative colitis always begins in the rectum and sigmoid colon and frequently progresses over time through the ascending, transverse, and then ascending colon. It is thought to be a disease caused by overactivity of the immune system and usually causes abdominal pain, and bloody, diarrheal bowel movements.
Crohn's disease may occur anywhere in the digestive tract - in the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, or colon - though it is most commonly involves the small intestine and colon. In Crohn's disease there may be "skip lesions," that is, abnormal segments interspersed between normal segments. If segments of the colon are involved, then symptoms of colitis may be present.
There are two types of microscopic colitis, 1) collagenous colitis and 2) lymphocytic colitis. Either collagen or lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) engorge 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. It is seen more frequently in older women. The diarrhea often is watery, but no blood is present in the stool.
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