In medicine, colitis (pl. colitides) refers to an inflammation of the colon and is often used to describe an inflammation of the large intestine (colon, caecum and rectum).
Colitides may be acute and self-limited or chronic, i.e. persistent, and broadly fit into the category of digestive diseases.
In a medical context, the label colitis (without qualification) is used if:
The aetiology of the inflammation in the colon is undetermined; for example, colitis may be applied to Crohn's disease at a time when the diagnosis has not declared itself, or
The context is clear; for example, an individual with ulcerative colitis is talking about their disease with a physician that knows the diagnosis.
The signs and symptoms of colitides are quite variable and dependent on the etiology (or cause) of the given colitis and factors that modify its course and severity.
Symptoms of colitis may include: abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fatigue, diarrhea, cramping, urgency and bloating.
Signs may include: abdominal tenderness, weight loss, changes in bowel habits (increased frequency), fever, bleeding (overt or occult)/bloody stools, diarrhea and distension.
Signs seen on colonoscopy include: colonic mucosal erythema (redness of the inner surface of the colon), ulcers, bleeding.Wikipedia's Article on Colitis
A detailed article from Wikipedia on colitis.eMedicine's Colitis Article
Discusses causes, signs and symptoms, and when to consult a doctor.ASCRS
Details on colitis, surgery, and what to expect.National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) is an information dissemination service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The NIDDK is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NDDIC was established in 1980 to increase knowledge and understanding about digestive diseases among people with these conditions and their families, health care professionals, and the general public. To carry out this mission, NDDIC works closely with a coordinating panel of representatives from Federal agencies, voluntary organizations on the national level, and professional groups to identify and respond to informational needs about digestive diseases.Newtreatments.com
Specializes in alternative treatments for various diseases.