Colitis is basically the inflammation of large intestines (also known as colon, in medical terms).
Symptoms of colitis include:
You should suspect that you might be having colitis if you experience abdominal pain or cramps along with diarrhea. You might be passing watery, mucous containing and blood containing stools. The frequency of cramps, nature as well as frequency of stools, varies from person to person.
A feeling of urgency to use the rest room.
Dehydration might occur as a result of loosing water in stools. Dehydration might lead to low blood pressure and a sensation of light-headedness while changing the posture. The patient might also experience certain other symptoms of dehydration like weakness, dizziness and fatigue, dry mouth and eyes.
There might be increased temperature, along with shivering.
A doctor might examine your abdomen for tenderness and might also use a stethoscope to listen the abdominal sounds.
Tests for detection of colitis
You might be asked to get a stool examination done to figure out the exact causative organism behind infective colitis, whether bacterial or viral.
Also, if you have lost too much blood, you might be asked to go for blood cell counts.An elevated whole blood cell count indicates infection.
Kidney function tests and Urine analysis indicate the severity of dehydration.
Imaging investigations for colitis
Colonoscopy, MRI, Barium meal and Computed Tomography.
Causes of colitis
In many number of cases, you would recall that you consumed foot or beverages from a place other than your home, may be a road side stall or restaurant. This might also happen if you have taken water from a contaminated water source. All this might get you infected with certain pathogenic micro organisms like: bacteria, viruses and parasites.
Disorders in blood flow to the colon.
Radiation induced damage to the colon.
Treatment of colitis
- Starting of certain anti microbial medications after proper examination and tests by physician( if cause is found to be infective). Anti microbials have been found to decrease the intensity and frequency of symptoms, they shorten the course of illness and also help in rapid elimination of offending micro organisms ( which may be bacterial / virus or parasites) from the body through stools.
- Intra venous fluids to maintain electrolyte balance of the body.
- Oral rehydration by frequent consumption of ORS solution, coconut water and lemonade.
- You may make an oral rehydration solution at home in case of emergency by mixing equal parts of sugar and salt and dissolving it in water.
- In case of allergic colitis, avoidance of the allergy causing food along with dietary modification. A most common culprit behind allergic colitis is milk and dairy products.
- Eat small meals as having a heavy meal in one go might overload your already disturbed gut.
- Ask your doctor about probiotic capsules containing Lactobacilli.
- When you are taking antibiotics, it is often necessary to take multi vitamin supplements as antibiotics disturb the natural flora of your gut.
- Stress is known to aggravate colitis. Try some relaxing deep breathing exercises and Yoga.
- Some studies advocate the use of accu puncture therapy for treatment of colitis.
- Consuming turmeric in many forms is known to heal certain types of colitis.
- Sometimes, consuming cooked or stewed vegetables instead of raw ones also helps as it decreases the amount of roughage or fibre so, the bulk of faeces does not increase.