colitis

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colitis,

inflammation of the colon, or large intestineintestine,
muscular hoselike portion of the gastrointestinal tract extending from the lower end of the stomach (pylorus) to the anal opening. In humans this fairly narrow (about 1 in./2.
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. The term "colitis" may be used to refer to any of a number of disorders involving the colon. Symptoms include diarrhea (often with blood and mucus), abdominal pain, and fever.

Ulcerative colitis is a serious chronic inflammation and ulceration of the lining of the colon and rectum. Another form of colitis, called Crohn's disease, has similar signs and includes thickening of the intestinal wall. The disease typically occurs in the small intestine near the point where it joins the colon, but the colon and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract may be affected as well. The term "inflammatory bowel disease" has been used to refer to both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, the causes of which are unknown. A less severe disorder, known as irritable bowel syndromeirritable bowel syndrome
(IBS), condition characterized by constipation, diarrhea, or alternating constipation and diarrhea in the absence of any disease process. It is usually accompanied by abdominal pain, especially in the lower left quadrant, bloating, and flatulence.
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, or IBS, was formerly called mucous colitis.

Colitis is sometimes caused by infections with viruses, parasites, or bacteria. For example, two distinct types of dysenterydysentery
, inflammation of the intestine characterized by the frequent passage of feces, usually with blood and mucus. The two most common causes of dysentery are infection with a bacillus (see bacteria) of the Shigella group, and infestation by an ameba,
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 are caused by amebas and bacteria. Infectious forms of colitis are often the result of poor hygienic practices. Prolonged use of antibiotics can also cause colitis, either by direct irritation of the colon or by killing bacteria that normally live in the intestine, allowing the toxin-producing bacterium Clostridium difficile to proliferate. Colitis is also sometimes caused by diverticulitis (see under diverticulosisdiverticulosis,
a disorder characterized by the presence of diverticula, which are small, usually multiple saclike protrusions through the wall of the colon (large intestine).
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) or by colon cancercolon cancer,
cancer of any part of the colon (often called the large intestine). Colon cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in the United States. Epidemiological evidence has shown that a diet high in fat and low in fruits, vegetables, and fiber contributes to the
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.

Colitis

 

inflammation of the colon.

Colitis is one of the commonest diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. It may be caused by infection (dysentery bacilli, salmonellas, amoebas, balantidia), poor food habits, or poisoning (by mercury and other chemicals). It can result from uremic autointoxication or as an independent disease of autoimmune nature (for example, nonspecific ulcerative colitis); in addition, it can arise secondarily from digestive disorders of the stomach and small intestine (gastric achylia, pancreatitis, gastroenteritis). Depending on the cause and severity of the colitis, the changes in the colon may vary from superficial catarrh to necrotic-ulcerative inflammation.

Colitis may be either acute or chronic. Acute colitis is accompanied by general malaise, loss of appetite, spastic abdominal pains, diarrhea, and, sometimes (especially in dysentery), painful straining at stool (tenesmus). The temperature may rise in acute colitis of infectious origin. The feces are pulpy or liquid and mixed with mucus (in severe cases, with mucus and blood). Acute colitis may become chronic.

Chronic colitis is accompanied by loss of appetite, nausea, and general weakness. Dull or paroxysmal abdominal pains often appear before or after defecation. Stool disturbances generally appear as an alternation of constipation and diarrhea. There is a sensation that the abdomen will burst, accompanying borborygmus and copious gas formation. With diarrhea, stools may be passed three or four times a day; they are generally pulpy or liquid and, in severe cases, mixed with mucus and streaks of blood. In spastic colitis, the fecal matter takes the form of small hard lumps. The abdomen is somewhat distended and tender upon palpation along the colon (with spastic constriction). The diagnosis of colitis is confirmed by X-ray examination, proctosigmoidoscopy, and laboratory analysis of the fecal matter.

The treatment of acute colitis (and exacerbations of chronic colitis) involves a starvation or semistarvation diet for one or two days, followed by a mostly protein diet, if fermentative processes are predominant in the intestine, or a carbohydrate diet, if putrefactive processes are predominant. Thereafter, a special colitis diet is recommended (strained, steamed, nourishing foods, with the exception of fruits, vegetables, and fresh milk). Antimicrobial and antiparasitic preparations and preparations that normalize the intestinal flora are indicated for infectious colitis. Therapeutic enemas are prescribed to act on the mucosae in cases of inflammation of the rectum and sigmoid colon. Antispasmodic and cholinolytic agents are used for spasms. Physical therapy (thermal procedures) and sanatorium-health resort treatment (Essentuki, Zheleznovodsk, Piatigorsk, Borzhomi, Morshin) are prescribed for patients with chronic colitis. Surgery is sometimes performed in cases of severe ulcerative colitis. The prevention of gastrointestinal infections, the treatment of diseases of the alimentary canal, and proper diet are helpful in preventing the occurrence of the condition.

REFERENCES

Men’shikov, F. K. Bolezni kishechnika. Moscow, 1962.
Bolezni organov pishchevareniia. Edited by S. M. Ryss. Leningrad, 1966.

A. L. GREBENEV

colitis

[kə′līd·əs]
(medicine)
Inflammation of the large bowel, or colon.

colitis

, colonitis
inflammation of the colon
References in periodicals archive ?
Boswellia extracts have also induced clinical remission in patients who have collagenous colitis, a less common form of inflammatory bowel disease characterized by chronic diarrhea.
Methods: Patients with chronic diarrhoea and histologically proven collagenous colitis were randomized to receive either oral BSE 400 mg three times daily for 6 weeks or placebo.
Two patients relapsed during the study--one with lymphocytic colitis who relapsed 16 months after therapy was stopped, and one with collagenous colitis who relapsed after 12 months.
Researchers believe collagenous colitis may be an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own tissue for unknown reasons.
Lymphocytic ("microscopic") colitis: a comparative histopathologic study with particular reference to collagenous colitis.
The doctors said I had collagenous colitis and to avoid caffeine, greasy foods, and dairy products.
False-positive results with human tTG antigen all were in the set of those positive in the anti-gp-tTG ELISA: two patients with ileal Crohn disease, two with chronic hepatitis, one with psoriasis, and one with collagenous colitis.
The corticosteroid budesonide relieves symptoms and corrects histologic changes associated with collagenous colitis in some patients, said Dr.
Falk Pharma markets budesonide in the United Kingdom as Budenofalk([R]) 2mg Rectal Foam for the treatment of distal active ulcerative colitis and as Budenofalk([R]) 3mg Gastro-resistant Capsules for the induction of remission of mild to moderate active Crohn's disease or the symptomatic relief of chronic diarrhea due to collagenous colitis.
This can be particularly frustrating when trying to evaluate the surface epithelium for the changes of lymphocytic colitis (LC) or collagenous colitis (CC).
Confocal laser endomicroscopy has been shown to specifically detect lymphocytic and collagenous colitis in the evaluation of chronic diarrhea, including observation of mononuclear infiltration in lymphocytic colitis and subepithelial collagenous bands in collagenous colitis.