What is Infectious Colitis?

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  • Written By: Alex Paul
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 29 September 2019
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Colitis is a medical condition where the colon becomes inflamed. In some cases, the condition also involves inflammation of other parts of the large intestine. Infectious colitis is when the condition is caused by an infection. There are several different types of bacteria that can cause the disease, including Escherichia coli and certain types of parasites. Symptoms of infectious colitis include pain in the abdomen, diarrhea and bloating.

There is a type of infectious colitis called pseudomembranous colitis. This is colitis that is caused by infection due to a strain of bacteria called Clostridium difficile. Other types of infectious colitis can be caused by bacteria known as Shiga toxin. The severity of the disease often depends on how it was originally contracted and which type of bacteria is involved. These factors will often also affect the potential treatment options.

The symptoms of infectious colitis vary widely although there are some that are often present. Symptoms can also be affected by how the disease was initially contracted. Some of the most common symptoms include diarrhea and painful bowel movements. The person may also not feel completely in control of his or her bowel movements. Other potential symptoms include fatigue, bloating, loss of appetite and cramps.


Aside from the common symptoms there are also some warning signs of colitis. These include needing to go to the bathroom more often, blood showcasing in stool and weight loss. Although these signs and symptoms can often be similar to other illnesses, the condition is usually relatively easy to diagnose due to the large affect it can have on a person’s everyday life.

Diagnosis of infectious colitis can include a number of different techniques. A medical history, for example, will usually be used along with X-rays and other scans of the abdomen. Sometimes a camera inserted into the body may be used in order to get a close up view of the colon in order to check that inflammation is present.

Treatment for infectious colitis depends on the type of infection. Most types of infections colitis can be treated using antibiotics, although parasitic infections may require different forms of treatment. The most severe cases of colitis of any type can be life threatening and require surgery although not all infections get to this stage. It is estimated that around half the sufferers of colitis of any form have to have surgery at some point in order to reduce the severity of the condition.


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Post 2

@Moldova - I wanted to say that I had food poisoning a few months ago and the doctor said that it was infectious colitis. It must have been as a result of Ecoli present in the food I ate because shortly afterwards I was feeling pretty bad.

I did not experience any blood in my stool, but I had all of the other symptoms. The pain that I experienced was really severe in fact I almost went to the hospital because it was so bad.

I did go to the doctor and he told me that my white blood cell count was really high and he ordered me to get more fiber in my diet and gave me a prescription for Flagyl.

Post 1

I recently read that infectious colitis affects almost four billion people worldwide. I also read that it is the leading cause of death in children under five in third world countries. Unsanitary health practices are really to blame.

It is really starting to be a huge problem because I read that the spread of infectious colitis has increased by 90% worldwide since 1980.

It is really an uncomfortable condition to experience. I think that cramping and the diarrhea are probably the worst symptoms but in some parts of the world people actually die of this condition.

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