Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease where the lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum become severely irritated. Inflammation spreads throughout the colon and into the rectum resulting in frequent diarrhea and severe abdominal pain.
Colitis Causes & Symptoms
Genetics may play a role in the development of colitis along with deficiencies in a child’s immune system. The intestines, or digestive tract, is a very sensitive part of the body. If a child is already genetically predisposed to colitis, symptoms can easily be triggered by factors like poor diet, stress, or an infection.
Common symptoms of colitis include:
- Diarrhea or bloody bowel movements
- Ulcers or sores in and around the rectum
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss or loss of appetite
- Joint pain
- Eye inflammation
- Anemia (low red blood cells)
Evaluations that help lead to a diagnosis of colitis are:
- Blood tests
- Stool samples
- Colonoscopy to examine the lining of the rectum and intestines
- Biopsy from intestinal tissue
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to check for internal inflammation
Colitis Treatment in Austin & Cedar Park, TX
Colitis symptoms can come and go, with flare-ups occurring more frequently if the condition is not managed. There are several treatments available for colitis, including anti-inflammatory medications and corticosteroids to help ease symptoms and irritation. Immunosuppressive drugs as well as antibiotics may also be prescribed to cure associated infections.
Your pediatric rheumatologist may also discuss with you the possibility of changes to your child’s diet to ease symptoms and reduce flare-ups.