Inflamed Colon

What is an Inflamed Colon?

Colitis or known as the inflammation of the colon affects about a small percent of Americans. This condition usually occurs to people at a young age and less frequently in old people. The colon is a tube that receives the products of digestion. Then it eliminates the digested food from the body through the anus. The colon has several layers and can come into contact with the products of digestion and fluid. The colon is also responsible in removing the water and electrolytes from the digested food to form solid feces.


Types

The inflamed colon (colitis) has different types:

  • Infectious colitis – this is due to ingestion of many bacteria, disease-causing bacteria.
  • Ischemic colitis – blood supply is impeded because of obstruction thus causing ischemia.
  • Ulcerative colitis – affects the rectum and sigmoid colon.
  • Crohn’s disease – may affect different parts of the digestive system which includes the colon.
  • Microscopic colitis – a rare condition that may be due to an autoimmune disorder.

Inflamed Colon Symptoms

The distinct presenting symptom for this condition is muscle spasm that involves the layers of the colon to produce an intermittent cramp-like pain. The signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Abdominal pain and tenderness
  • Loss of appetite causing weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramping
  • Sense of urgency
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Bloody stools
  • Abdominal distension or bloating

Complications include bleeding resulting to anemia, ulceration, development of a hole in the colon and toxic megacolon.

When these symptoms are identified and continue to persist, going to the doctor for a medical advice is needed. In order to diagnose the condition, an order for sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy is given to the patient. A tissue for biopsy can be attained for these tests. Other studies would include: abdominal CT scan, MRI, x-ray and barium enema.

Inflamed Colon Causes

The exact cause for colitis is idiopathic or from an unknown cause. Studies have showed that a specific gene is responsible for this condition and is identified as NOD2. Some research has presented that a genetic predisposition is to be rooted for an inflamed colon.

In infectious colitis, the definitive cause for the disease is bacteria: Campylobacter, Shigella, E. coli, and Salmonella. It has been noted that others develop colitis right after taking antibiotics. This is because of the suppressive action of antibiotics to the normal bacteria resulting to new growth of other bacteria.

In ischemic colitis, one blames the obstruction of blood supply to the colon. This can result to inflammation because of the lack of blood supply. As a person ages, the possibility of ischemic colitis is higher. This is due to the more narrowed arteries that one develops as he or she ages. Underlying conditions can also assist in the progression of ischemia. Presence of hernia and twisting of the bowel can promote a restricted blood supply in the colon.

The other types of inflamed colon are generally idiopathic or can be rooted from an autoimmune disorder.

Inflamed Colon Treatment

Treatment for colitis depends on the cause and severity of affectation. In order to be treated, proper diagnosis is important. This can be attained when the cause is identified. This can be done through the complete medical history and proper diagnostic exams.

Initially, the patient’s treatment priority is rehydration. As dehydration is a possibility, hydration is provided by oral fluids or intravenous replacement. Provide the client comfort from the pain.

Patients are given with corticosteroid to treat specifically ulcerative colitis. Hydrocortisone is used to decrease the inflammation, as methylprednisolone can. Loperamide are provided to inhibit intestinal muscles to perform peristalsis. Antibiotics are provided to patients who suffer from infectious colitis. These drugs include: trimethoprim, ampicillin, unasyn, gentamycin, metronidazole, cefoxitin, ceftriaxone, cefotaxime, and vancomycin.

Surgical intervention is necessary to patients who are severely suffering from the condition. When the condition has lead to gastrointestinal bleeding, bowel perforation, obstruction, and unresponsiveness to treatment then these are considered:

  • Total colectomy – this involves the total removal of the colon than results to creation of a colostomy.
  • Segmental bowel resection – this removes the affected part of the disease. This is not curative but a palliative treatment for colitis.

Patients diagnosed of this condition should consider lifestyle changes. Manage stress by doing relaxation techniques and attending relaxing exercises. Avoid distressing situations and reduce the bad habits practiced before.

Inflamed Colon Diet

A healthy diet is needed for patients suffering from an inflamed colon. First thing to do is to keep body clean. Having a strict healthy diet is a must. Change the bad habits such as avoid taking beverages that can exacerbate diarrhea. Avoid foods rich in fat and dairy products. Limit intake of rich in fiber foods for this can only aggravate the presenting symptoms. Taking of good supplements such zinc, folic acid, vitamin B12 and glutamine shall assist one in reducing the inflammation.

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