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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

Colitis is swelling and irritation of your colon. Colitis may be caused by ulcers or a problem with your immune system. Bacteria, a virus, or a parasite may also cause colitis. The cause may not be known. You may have diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, or blood or mucus in your bowel movement.


Return to the emergency department if:

Call your doctor if:


Manage your symptoms:

Prevent the spread of germs:

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

You may need to return for a colonoscopy or other tests. Write down how often you have a bowel movements and what they look like. Bring this to your follow-up visits. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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