Colitis masquerades by many names, and the symptoms of colitis are no fun. They include severe stomach pain, diarrhea, and constipation, to name a few. Colitis is a serious problem that causes the lining of the large intestine to be inflamed and swollen.
The primary cause of colitis is the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics destroy the mucosal lining of the intestines. Without this lining, the health of your colon declines dramatically, since the lining protects the tissue in your gastrointestinal tract. Once damaged, your body's digestive enzymes then work on destroying the lining, which causes the tissue to be eaten away.
These are the five most common symptoms of colitis:
1. Diarrhea: This can range from mild and occasional to frequent with unpredictable urgency. Diarrhea is often triggered by eating and then having to run to the bathroom. Some people have a condition known as IBS-C, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome with constipation. This latter condition is found most commonly in someone genetically pre-disposed to constipation. This condition is caused by failing to properly hydrate the stool.
2. Intestinal/stomach pain: While this may indicate a stomach bug (stomach flu) or food poisoning, it is also a symptom of colitis and/or constipation.
3. Bloody stools: Along with fever and dehydration and diarrhea, these symptoms may indicate ulcerative colitis.
4. Mucus in stool: When you add the above symptoms to mucus, it may be Crohn's Disease.
While not a physical symptom, this last symptom may be the most paralyzing side-effect of colitis and IBD:
5. Paranoia: This is seen in someone who is too afraid to leave home to attend social events, go the mall, go out to eat, go to a movie, etc. Paranoia is most commonly found in those suffering from a more severe irritable bowel disease. Many have had "accidents," and even when cured, find it difficult to leave the safety of their home for more than a short period of time.
The progression in the severity of the syndrome from colitis to Crohn's is based on the fact that all of these are the same condition. The primary difference is the amount of damage done to intestinal tissue, which has a strong correlation to how long you have suffered through the symptoms without treatment.
Bottom line -- don't tolerate this pain and these symptoms any longer than you have to. Taking drugs isn't the answer -- there is an alternative that works that involves rebuilding your gut. Do your research, discover the tissues that comprise your colon, and don't ignore these five primary symptoms of colitis.