Font Size
A
A
A
1
...

6 Common Causes of Colitis

Facts about colitis

  • Colitis is a term used to describe inflammation of the colon.
  • There are many causes of colitis, for example, infections (food poisoning from E. coli, Salmonella), poor blood supply, and autoimmune reactions.
  • Symptoms of colitis include
    • diarrhea that may have blood
    • frequent and small bowel movements,
    • abdominal pain and cramping
    • constipation
  • Individuals with colitis may have mild, moderate or severe colitis.
  • Types of colitis include microscopic colitis, C. diff colitis, infectious colitis, ischemic colitis, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (one type of inflammatory bowel disease), and chemical colitis.
  • The diagnosis of colitis is made by patient history, physical examination, laboratory tests, colonoscopy, and imaging tests.
  • Treatment for colitis depends on the specific type of colitis.

What is colitis?

Colitis is an inflammation of the colon, also known as the large intestine. While there are many causes of colitis including infections, poor blood supply (ischemia), and autoimmune reactions, they share common symptoms of abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/20/2016

Must Read Articles Related to Colitis

Abdominal Pain (Adults)
Abdominal Pain in Adults Abdominal pain in adults can range from a mild stomach ache to severe pain. Examples of causes of abdominal pain in adults include learn more >>
Abdominal Pain in Children
Abdominal Pain in Children Abdominal pain in children can range from trivial to life-threatening. Some possible causes of abdominal pain in children are: infections, food related (food al...learn more >>
Barium Enema
Barium Enema A barium enema is a diagnostic test that us ...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Colitis (Symptoms, Types, and Treatments):

Colitis - Treatment

What was the treatment for your colitis?

Colitis - Symptoms and Signs

What symptoms and signs did you experience with colitis?

Colitis - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with Colitis.

Colitis - Types

What type of colitis do you have? Please share your experience with symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments.

How Much Do You Know about Ulcerative Colitis?

Take the quiz and test your IQ!

True or False: Smokers are more likely to develop ulcerative colitis.

  • True or false?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Colitis »

Colitis is an inflammation of the colon. It may be associated with enteritis (inflammation of the intestine) and/or proctitis (inflammation of the rectum).

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary