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:
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:
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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