Colitis Q & A
What is colitis?
Colitis is a condition in which the lining of your large intestine (your colon) and your rectum, are both inflamed. This irritation is due to tiny ulcers and small abscesses in the lining.
If your esophagus, stomach or small intestine are also affected, then you may have inflammatory bowel syndrome, which is the combination of colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Dr. Lentzou can diagnose all of that.
How is colitis diagnosed?
If you make an appointment to see Dr. Lentzou because you have been dealing with bouts of bloody diarrhea, fever, weight loss, joint pain, stomach pains, or sores, then she will test you for colitis.
In addition to taking into account your medical and family history, she also conducts a battery of tests. These include various blood tests, stool samples, an endoscopy, and possibly magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan.
These are done to rule out other conditions that have similar symptoms, including Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and liver disease.
How is colitis treated?
If Dr. Lentzou determines that you have colitis, then there are several steps she will take to make you feel better, including prescription medication and dietary changes.
She may also recommend surgery if you have a severe case that does not respond to medication or other measures. It's vital that you follow her directions so that you do not end up in the hospital. This illness can lead to dehydration and failure to get proper nutrition from the food that you eat.
Surgery for this disorder can include removal of the large intestine, which helps prevent colon cancer.
Are there any ways to prevent colitis?
Colitis's cause is unknown, so there's no known way to prevent it.
However, if you have a close family member who suffers from IBS or stomach pains, or if you are of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, you are more prone to getting colitis. Also, if you're between the ages of 15 and 30, or are over 60, you're more likely to have this disorder.
If you’re having troubling symptoms in the bathroom, call or go online and see Dr. Lentzou as soon as possible.