Colitis is a condition of the human body that is marked by an inflammation of the colon. It can be caused by a variety of infections as well as a lack of blood supply and autoimmune reactions. The colon, which is also commonly called the large bowel or the large intestine collects and stores the residual waste after digestion. It is also the passage that channels this waste matter towards the rectum for excretory purposes. During the passage of the liquid waste matter through the colon it is mixed with mucus and bacterium, while the water part of the waste is reabsorbed and channeled into the blood stream solidifying the feces.
The colon is made of layers of tissues with the outside wall layered with smooth muscle tissue that is instrumental in generating a movement to push the undigested food towards the rectum. The inner mucosa layer secrets mucus and bacterium for the formation of the feces and also helps in the electrolyte absorption of water through the layer to solidify the waste matter. During a colitis condition it is the inner mucosa layer that gets inflamed. Similar to all other organs in the human body the colon has a supply of arteries and a nexus of veins on its outside wall to supply oxygen and exhaust carbon dioxide and lactic acid.
Infections: Colitis can be caused by infection to the colon through bacteria and virus that reach the organ mostly through food. The condition is commonly called 'food poisoning' and some of the regular causes include Campylobacter, Escherchia Coli, Shigella, and Salmonella. Another similar condition, pseudomembranous colitis happens due to the bacteria Clostridium Difficile (C. difficile). This condition occurs in patients, who have been taking antibiotic medication because of an infection already present. This condition is often accompanied by fever and non-bloody diarrhea.
Ischemic Colitis: This condition is caused when the arteries in the colon narrow due to an atherosclerosis cutting up the blood supply to the organ and causing often-severe inflammation. This condition can occur because of a low blood pressure, anemia, dehydration, or shock. In other circumstances-like volvulus, when the bowel starts twisting, and incarcerated hernia, when the colon is obstructed by the abdominal wall-also the colon can suffer from a lack of blood supply, considerable pain, passage of blood through the bowers, and fever to the body.
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: There are two types of inflammatory bowel diseases that can cause colitis. The first being ulcerative colitis and autoimmune illness where the surrounding body parts start an immunological attack on the organ. The second is technically called Crohn's Disease and can be interspersed and spread along the digestive tract from the esophagus to the rectum.
Microscopic Colitis: Collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis are the two conditions in this type of colitis. These conditions happen because of layers of the colon getting enlarged due to collagen or lymphocytes.
Chemical Colitis: If chemicals find an external passage into the colon it can get inflamed causing this condition. It is extremely common as fallout of enema.
A mild case of the disease can be treated at home with bland and watery diet, while if the condition persists or if the patient gets blood in the stool, or fever accompanied by diarrhoea immediate medical care may become necessary.