Colitis is an infection that affects the colon. This disease causes prolonged inflammation of the rectum and large intestines. With Colitis, you feel pain and discomfort in your abdomen. The pain can be minor or severe. These disorders can lead to other illnesses and then death if you cannot seek medical attention in time to curb their spreading and development inside your body. For that reason, it is imperative to have knowledge about this illness so that you can protect yourself and enjoy and healthy life.
There are five important facts about colitis that you should know. These are vital for both patients, doctors, and non-patients. They will enable you to take appropriate action when you encounter them. Those facts are as follows in details:
1. The Types of Colitis Diseases
There are many colitis infections that you can suffer from. They are generally classified based on what causes them, their intensity of severity, sickness period, and their signs and symptoms. The five main types are:
This illness is caused by the overreaction of the immune system to the presence of bacteria and other substances in the large intestine or rectum.
This condition is further classified into three infections based on where they affect as follows:
- Proctosigmoiditis, which attacks the lower part of the large intestine and the rectum
- Pancolitis, a condition that affects the whole of the colon
- Left-sided colitis, an infection that attacks only the left part of the large intestines.
This is a medical condition that is a result of inflammation in the tissues of the large intestines. The exact cause of this disorder remains unknown. But, there are groups of individuals who are at risk of contracting this infection.
- Aged people with 50 or more years.
- Female gender
- People with a history of autoimmune infections
- People who smoke
This is a health condition that results from a sudden restriction of the flow of blood to the large intestines. This blockage leads to blood clotting inside the colon which results in a condition for accumulation of fatty deposits. In turn, these fatty deposits inside the blood vessels providing the large intestines with blood cause the manifestation of this type of colitis infection. Similarly, Ischemic can be caused by the presence of other underlying diseases.
- Heart failure
- Colon cancer
- Blood loss
On a rare occasion, allergies to certain drug prescriptions can lead to the occurrence of this infection.
This is an inflammatory condition that is caused by the overgrowth of the bacteria residing in the colon. These bacteria are called Clostridium difficile. The presence of these bacteria in the large intestines normally has no harm. This is because they are neutralized by the existence of “good” bacteria in the intestines also.
The application of certain treatments kills the “good” bacteria. The exit of these important bacteria leads to the dominance of the Clostridium difficile bacteria that in turn discharges pollutants which causes colon inflammation.
This infection attacks infants and is common in kids with two or fewer months. The exact cause is unknown even to doctors. However, theories suggest that the allergic reaction to some constituents of breast milk causes the condition to the infants.
Kids suffering from this disease demonstrate the following symptoms:
- Too much spitting up
- Blood flecks in stool
Besides the five common and main types of colitis, there are other minor types of this infection. These conditions are caused by infections from food poisoning microorganisms, viruses, parasites, or colon exposure to radiation treatment.
These diseases are also dangerous and can lead to severe and deadly conditions.
They include the following:
- Atypical colitis
- Chemical colitis
- Crohn’s colitis
- Diversion colitis
- Fulminant colitis
2. The Signs and Symptoms of Colitis Infection
Colitis infections are characterized by various signs and symptoms. Most of them are general to several types of colitis disorders. The signs and symptoms that you will experience depends on the infection you will have. Different patients experience different symptoms with varying intensity of sickness severity.
Thus, as a patient suffering from colitis conditions, you will show some of the following symptoms:
- Weight loss
- Mouth sores
- Diarrhea with blood and/or mucus
- Colon tissue swelling
- Abdomen bloating
- Abdominal pain
- Changes in bowel habits
- Appetite loss
- Joint aches
- Skin rashes
- Colon surface erythema
3. Causes of Colitis Diseases
Colitis infections can affect your large intestines and/or colon as a result of different causes. These causative agents can cause one or more types of colitis diseases.
The main ones are:
- Food poisoning microorganisms
- Exposure of the large intestines to radiation treatment
- Allergic or hypersensitive reactions to certain treatments and components of food like breast milk
- Development from other illnesses
4. The Detection and Testing of Colitis Illnesses
When you exhibit the signs and symptoms suggesting that you are suffering from one or more infections of colitis, it is appropriate for you to undergo a medical examination. You will then be subjected to various tests to check if you’re colitis positive or negative; the tests will as well determine the illness stage you are in and also the risks you are exposed to. The main tests that you will undertake include the following: X-rays of the large intestines, stool testing for pus and blood, colonoscopy testing, and sigmoidoscopy testing. Besides those tests, there are also minor trials that you will be subjected to for further examination of your health condition. These extra tests are blood chemistry checks and stool cultures and blood trials.
5. The Risks Associated with Colitis Disorders
If you are a patient suffering from colitis disease, you’re exposed to a number of risks. Some of the risks are deadly while others are mild. These ailments can lead to other serious and fatal sickness. The following are the major four risks that colitis infection will expose you to:
- Toxic megacolon: the large intestines expand as a result becomes unable to function properly. This leads to severe states like abdominal swelling.
- Bowel perforation: rupturing of the walls of the colon happens as a result of prolonged inflammation that forms a hole inside the intestinal walls. This hole creates an environment that will facilitate bacteria spilling which will result in contracting diseases.
- Colorectal cancer exposure: the chances of contracting colorectal cancer as a result of colitis disorders increases based on the intensity of the dangers and the period of the infection.
- Fulminant colitis: this condition leads to damage of the intestinal wall. The destruction momentarily stops the normal intestinal wall contraction. Finally, the intestines start swelling because of the presence of the confined gas inside the colon.
The facts discussed above are crucial not only to patients of colitis infections but to everybody. This is because knowing the signs and symptoms helps you detect the illness at earlier stages so that you can seek medical attention. The knowledge of types and the various risks as a result of these disorders also prepares you for the expectations from the disease (the causes, consequences, and symptoms). The general know-how of colitis disorders will help you lead a happy life because of good health. Now that you are well equipped with these facts, it also vital that you observe them and enlighten other people who might fall victim to colitis ailments.
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