About Colitis Treatments

About Colitis Treatments

Inflammation of the colon is known as colitis, although there many causes for the inflammation and varying degrees of symptoms. The type of colitis is a determining factor in choosing a treatment. Although a doctor’s diagnosis is imperative to rule out other conditions, mild forms of colitis may respond to home treatments.

Identification

Abdominal pain and diarrhea are often the first signs that something is amiss in the colon. The pain, in mild cases, may resemble the pressure of excessive gas and there may be a recurring feeling that a bowel movement is imminent. In more severe cases, the pain may present in constricting waves, causing the patient to double over. In both instances, diarrhea usually follows the pain. Fever may be present if the colitis is a result of an infection.

Function

When the colon is working properly, undigested food progresses smoothly through the intestines to the colon with the aid of mucus. When too little mucus forms, the waste material may harden unnaturally, creating pressure on the interior of the colon, resulting in constipation, pain and swelling. Normally, the swelling will draw increased moisture and diarrhea will result, clearing the constipation. Ulcerative colitis, a result of sores forming on the lining of the colon, may be difficult to diagnose because it mimics Crohn’s disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Types

Treatment options vary widely, depending upon the severity of the colitis. Monitor the symptoms at home and if diarrhea persists longer than 24 hours, consult a physician. Prolonged diarrhea is a leading cause of dehydration. In addition, if abdominal pain worsens or if the patient runs a fever over 100 degrees, a medical diagnosis is warranted. Mild cases of colitis from food poisoning may resolve themselves with bed rest, plenty of fluids and a diet rich in fiber.

READ  Designers Say These 22 Earth Tone Color Palettes Are Always In

Considerations

Over-the-counter diarrhea medications may reduce some of the symptoms of mild colitis. Look for Loperamide in the ingredient list, found in Imodium and similar medicines. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if the colitis is the result of an infection. Additional drugs used to treat colitis include anti-inflammatories. Ulcerative colitis, if diagnosed early, may also respond to antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs but many cases of chronic ulcerative colitis require surgery to repair the lesions on the colon.

Prevention/Solution

Infectious colitis is common when food-borne bacteria are present. Resist drinking untreated water from a stream or a lake and observe sanitary food preparation rules. Wash your hands and all utensils that come into contact with raw meat, especially seafood and fowl. Teach children to wash their hands thoroughly after playing outside or upon arriving home from school. Tuck antibacterial handwipes into your purse, lunchboxes and backpacks for quick hand sanitizing.