Colitis is swelling (inflammation) of the large intestine (colon).
Causes of colitis include:
Symptoms can include:
Exams and Tests:
The health care provider will perform a physical exam. You will also be asked questions about your symptoms such as:
- How long have you had the symptoms?
- How severe is your pain?
- How often do you have pain and how long does it last?
- How often so you have diarrhea?
- Have you have been traveling?
The health care provider can diagnose colitis by inserting a flexible tube into the rectum (flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy ) and looking at certain areas of the colon. You may have biopsies taken during this exam. Biopsies may show changes related to inflammation.
Other studies that can identify colitis include:
Your treatment will depend on the cause of the disease.
The outlook will vary depending on the cause of the problem.
When to Contact a Medical Professional:
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms such as:
- Abdominal pain that does not get better
- Blood in the stool or stools that look black
- Diarrhea or vomiting that does not go away
- Swollen abdomen
Horn AE, Ufbert JW. Appendicitis, diverticulitis, and colitis. Emerg Med Clin N Am. 2011;29:347-368.
|Review Date: 10/13/2013|
Reviewed By: George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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