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Colitis (cont.)

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How is colitis treated?

The treatment of colitis depends upon the cause.

Initial therapy, regardless of the cause is to stabilize the patient's vital signs and helping control pain, if needed. Rehydration may occur by mouth, however, for those patients who are markedly dry, who are unable to tolerate fluids by mouth, or have electrolyte abnormalities, intravenous fluids may be required.

What is the prognosis for a patient with colitis?

Patients with infectious diarrhea tend to get better relatively quickly with supportive care. Most infections will resolve with or without specific treatment and often do not require antibiotics. Those decisions depend on the patient's diagnosis.

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease probably will require lifelong treatment to help control their symptoms. The goal, as with any long term illness, is to allow the patient to live a normal life with minimal symptoms from the disease.

Patients with ischemic colitis need to minimize their risk factors for progressive narrowing of the arteries. These are the same risks as for heart disease, including controlling high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol; and stopping smoking. Patients with severe ischemia that leads to a dead (gangrenous) colon require surgery to remove the gangrenous segment.

REFERENCE: Longo DL. et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. McGraw-Hill Professional. 18th edition. 2011


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/5/2013

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Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/colitis/article.htm

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