Colitis is a condition that is characterised by inflammation of the colon. This condition can present itself in both adults and children, and is known to cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bloody stools. People suffering from underlying health problems like inflammatory bowel disease, infection of the abdomen, diabetes, high blood pressure, and anemia may be more susceptible to colitis.
Overview of colitis
Individuals suffering from colitis pass blood in their stools, complain about pain in the lower section of the abdomen, and suffer from diarrhoea. There are different types of colitis that affect patients. These include colitis caused by inflammatory bowel disease, ischemic colitis, infectious colitis, and microscopic colitis. Ischemic colitis develops when the arteries that supply oxygen to the colon become narrow. In such cases, it is lack of proper oxygen that causes inflammation of the colon. Microscopic colitis, on the other hand, is further sub-divided into two types namely, collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis. The treatment for colitis largely depends upon the type of colitis the patient is suffering from and the severity of the condition.
Treatment of colitis
If you develop any of the symptoms of colitis, it’s important that you visit your health care practitioner to rule out the condition. If the diagnosis reveals that you are indeed suffering from colitis, your body will have to be rehydrated to make up for the loss of fluids. In some cases, IV fluids will be administered to you intravenously, if you don’t retain fluids. If you’re suffering from infectious colitis, you will be prescribed a course of antibiotics. These antibiotics help to kill both gram positive and gram negative bacteria, so you’ll recover once the infection is kept under control. Patients suffering from colitis may also develop ulcers around the colon. This is known as ulcerative colitis - a disease which is systemic in nature. Patients suffering from ulcerative colitis need anti-inflammatory medication that belongs to the class of drugs known as aminosalicylates. Commonly used drugs from this category include Sulfasalazine, Olsalazine, Mesalamine, and Balsalazide. These drugs do cause certain side-effects, so they should be administered with caution.
Other treatment options
If the cause of colitis is high blood pressure or diabetes, the doctor will have to treat these conditions so that the symptoms of colitis subside. Colitis should be treated on time because parts of the colon may become gangrenous. If this happens, the doctor may have to perform surgery immediately in order to extract the affected segments. Lastly, the doctor will modify the patient’s diet for faster recovery. Foods high in proteins and complex carbohydrates are ideal, along with foods that contain whole grains. Bad fats, spicy foods, refined sugar and nuts should be eaten in limited quantities.