Chilton Medical Center - ATLANTIC HEALTH SYSTEM
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+)  font size
PrintEmail
Search Health Information   

Ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis


Large intestine
Large intestine


Colitis

Definition:

Colitis is swelling (inflammation) of the large intestine (colon).



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

Colitis can have many different causes, including:

See also:



Symptoms:

Symptoms can include:



Signs and tests:

The health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your symptoms, including:

  • How long you have had the symptoms
  • How severe your pain is
  • How often it occurs
  • How long it lasts
  • How often you have diarrhea
  • Whether you have been traveling

The health care provider can diagnose colitis by inserting a flexible tube into the rectum (flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy ) and evaluating specific areas of the colon. Biopsies taken during these tests may show changes related to inflammation.

Other studies that can identify colitis include:



Treatment:

Treatment is directed at the cause of disease (infection, inflammation, lack of blood flow, or another cause).

See the conditions listed above for specific recommendations.



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

The prognosis varies with each disease. See particular conditions listed above.



Complications:

Calling your health care provider:

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 (distended) abdomen


Prevention:

Prevention depends upon the cause of colitis. See the specific condition.




Review Date: 10/16/2011
Reviewed By: George F Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com


Morristown Medical Center
100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

Overlook Medical Center
99 Beauvoir Avenue
Summit, NJ 07901
908-522-2000

Newton Medical Center
175 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860
973-383-2121

Chilton Medical Center
97 West Parkway
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
973-831-5000

Goryeb Children's Hospital
100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

© 2014 Chilton Medical Center, 97 West Parkway, Pompton Plains, New Jersey 1-973-831-5000