Colitis (cont.)

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Inflammatory bowel disease

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are the two types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that give rise to colitis.

Ulcerative colitis always begins in the rectum may spread to the rest of the rest of the colon, moving from the rectum to the sigmoid, descending, transverse, and finally ascending colon. It is consisdered an autoimmune disease and symptoms include abdominal pain, and bloody, diarrheal bowel movements.

Crohn's disease may occur anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract (GI), including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon. In Crohn's disease there may be "skip lesions," that is, abnormal segments of the GI tract interspersed with normal segments.

Microscopic colitis

There are two types of microscopic colitis, 1) collagenous colitis and 2) lymphocytic colitis. Either collagen or lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) infiltrate into the layers of the wall of the colon, presumably a result of inflammation. This is an uncommon illness and may be an auto-immune disease. The diarrhea often is watery, and no blood is present in the stool.

Allergic colitis in infants

In infants younger than one year of age, colitis is often due to allergies to cow or soy milk. Allergic colitis may be seen in breastfed babies, where mothers drink cow's milk and pass that protein into their breast milk.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/4/2015

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