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Infectious Colitis, Ambulatory Care

Infectious colitis

is swelling and irritation of your colon caused by bacteria, a parasite, or a virus.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Diarrhea 3 or more times in a day
  • Small bowel movements that contain blood or mucus
  • Headache or body aches
  • Low-grade fever (less than 101.0 F)
  • Abdominal pain

Seek immediate care for the following symptoms:

  • Urinating only a little or not at all
  • Tiredness or body weakness
  • Headache, dizziness, or confusion
  • Irregular or fast breathing
  • Fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Sudden weight loss

Treatment for infectious colitis

may include medicine to treat the bacteria, virus, or parasite.

Manage infectious colitis:

  • Drink liquids as directed to help prevent dehydration. Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Ask your healthcare provider if you should drink an oral rehydration solution (ORS). An ORS contains a balance of water, salt, and sugar to replace body fluids lost during diarrhea.
  • Do not take medicine to stop your diarrhea. These medicines may make your symptoms last longer.

Prevent infectious colitis:

  • Clean thoroughly. Wash your hands in warm, soapy water for 20 seconds before and after you handle food. Wash your hands after you use the bathroom, change a diaper, or touch an animal. Rinse fruits and vegetables in running water. Clean cutting boards, knives, countertops, and other areas where you prepare food before and after you cook. Wash sponges and dishtowels weekly in hot water.
  • Cook food all the way through. Cook eggs until the yolks are firm. Use a meat thermometer to make sure meat is heated to a temperature that will kill bacteria. Do not eat raw or undercooked chicken and turkey, seafood, or meat.
  • Store food properly. Refrigerate or freeze fruits and vegetables, cooked foods, and leftovers.
  • Drink safe water. Drink only treated water. Do not drink water from ponds or lakes, or from swimming pools that do not contain chlorine. Drink bottled water when you travel.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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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