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What is it? Colitis (ko-li-tis) is an irritation of the colon. The colon is also called the bowel or large intestine (in-tes-tin). Colitis occurs most often in people 15 to 30 years old.
Causes: It is not known what causes colitis. One cause may be a family history of the disease. Some foods, medicines, or an infection can also cause colitis.
Sign/Symptoms: You may have repeated BMs which may be blood-specked, loose, or runny. Other signs may be abdominal (belly) pain, bloating, increased gas, fever, chills, nausea, weight loss, or feeling tired. These signs may come and go any time.
Care: Your blood and BMs may be sent to a lab for tests to help find the cause of the colitis. There is no cure for most types of colitis. But you should feel better with medicine, rest, and a special diet. You may need to be put in the hospital if you have a bad attack of colitis.
You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about colitis and how it can be treated. You can then discuss treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care will be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.