Colitis is simply inflammation of the large intestine usually resulting in pain, diarrhea and sometimes fever. There are many different causes for colitis -Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis have their own sections. Some other causes of Colitis include: infectious, ischemic and pseudomembranous. Infectious colitis can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites, and starts with bloody or watery, liquid stool. Ischemic colitis is caused by a lack of blood flow to a segment of the colon, almost like a stroke or heart attack, but usually less dangerous. It presents with cramping followed by fresh blood. Treatment is usually supportive, but occasionally will require surgery. Pseudomembranous colitis results when bacteria "takes over" after the good bacteria in the colon are killed off with antibiotics. Fortunately, it can be treated with special antibiotics, and the good bacteria return over time.

Digestive Health Tips From Our Staff

Heartburn: If you are experiencing heartburn, “do not discount the need for an upper GI endoscopy to rule out abnormal pathology.”


Heartburn is a common affliction for many people, but if left untreated it can lead to complications such as Barrett’s Esophagus, which is a precursor to esophageal cancer.