Colitis is an inflammatory disorder of the bowel that results in ulcers, diarrhea, cramping, and long-lasting inflammation and abdominal pain. Symptoms develop over time, rather than all of a sudden. The modern living standards and eating habits have led to the weakening of intestinal linings, thereby causing a sub-clinical bacterial infection that attacks the crypts of the intestine. With time, the infection multiplies as the gut weakens and causes inflammation of the colon, which is known as colitis.
The exact cause of colitis is not yet known. Modern lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits have long been suspected of causing colitis, but doctors believe one prominent reason to be an immune system malfunction. Besides, hereditary plays a significant role in people whose family members already have the disease.
Types and Causes of Colitis
The types of colitis are typically what cause them. These are the different types of colitis:
- Infectious Colitis
- Ischemic Colitis
- Crohn's Colitis
- Microscopic Colitis
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Collagenous Colitis
- Diversion Colitis
- Lymphocytic Colitis
- Fulminant Colitis
- Chemical Colitis
- Atypical Colitis
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is one of the two diseases classified as IBS. The other one is Crohn’s disease. UC is a chronic disease that results in inflammation and bleeding ulcers within the inner lining of your large intestine. It usually starts in the rectum and spreads to the colon. It is the most commonly diagnosed type of colitis that occurs when the immune system overreacts to bacteria and other substances in the digestive tract.
Common types of Ulcerative Colitis include:
- Pancolitis, affecting the entire large intestine
- Proctosigmoiditis, affecting the rectum and lower portion of the colon
- Left-sided colitis, affecting the left side of the colon that usually begins at the rectum
Several bacteria present in the colon live in harmony with the body, causing no symptoms. However, it may result in an infection if a virus, bacteria, or parasite invade the small/large intestine.
Common bacteria that cause colitis include:
These infections occur because of eating contaminated food. Some common symptoms include abdominal cramps, dehydration from water loss, and diarrhea with or without blood. The toxins that the bacteria can produce or the infection itself can affect other organs in the body.
Clostridium difficile — also referred to as C. difficile — is a bacterium that causes colitis. This often results following the consumption of an antibiotic or hospitalization. C. difficile is found in the colon of healthy people that lives in harmony with healthy bacteria. However, when a patient takes antibiotics, susceptible bacteria in the colon gets destroyed, resulting in colitis. The bacteria may commonly be found on many surfaces in the hospital, including stethoscopes, bed rails, and toilets.
Unfortunately, this infection is highly contagious and more common outside the hospital as well. People can develop this condition without consuming antibiotics or exposure to a healthcare facility.
The most common parasite to cause colitis is Entamoeba Histolytica, commonly found in infected drinking water. If a person drinks this infected water, he/she may develop colitis. This infection can be passed from individual to individual because of poor hygiene and sanitation.
The colon can be considered as a hollow muscle that requires a regular blood supply to function properly. When the colon loses its blood supply and becomes ischemic, it becomes inflamed. The lack of blood supply in the colon causes inflammation, eventually leading to pain, diarrhea, and fever.
With age, a person's arteries narrow and can cause ischemic colitis. Risk factors for ischemic colitis are similar to peripheral artery disease (PAD) and atherosclerotic heart disease, including high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, and high blood pressure. Ischemia is caused by low blood pressure or anemia, which can decrease the supply of oxygen to the colon, resulting in colitis. Patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib) and not anticoagulated are at increased risk of developing ischemic bowel.
Two of the major types of IBD, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, are autoimmune diseases that cause colitis. Ulcerative colitis usually begins in the rectum before proceeding to the rest of the colon. The symptoms include diarrheal bowel movements and abdominal pain.
Crohn's disease mostly occurs in the gastrointestinal tract (GI), including the colon, stomach, small intestine, and esophagus. Both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis may infect other organs in the body, along with the GI tract.
Pseudomembranous colitis (PC)
Pseudomembranous colitis (PC) occurs from the overgrowth of Clostridium difficile bacterium, which is typically found in the intestines. However, this bacterium is not known to cause issues as it is balanced by the presence of good bacteria.
The intake of antibiotics often destroys healthy bacteria, causing Clostridium difficile to take over, thereby releasing toxins that cause inflammation and irritation.
Microscopic colitis can be of two types, namely, collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis. These are types of white blood cells that can invade the colon's inner wall due to inflammation. This type of colitis is not commonly found and can be an autoimmune disease. The resultant diarrhea is watery and without the presence of blood in the stool.
Allergic colitis mostly occurs in infants less than one year of age, caused by allergies to cow or soy milk. This condition infects breastfed babies, where mothers consume cow's milk and eventually pass that protein into their breast milk.
Other causes of colitis include infection from food poisoning, parasites, and viruses. People can also develop colitis if they’ve received radiation treatment to treat an infection in the large intestine.
Signs and Symptoms of Colitis
Common signs of colitis can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Intense pain
- Rapid weight loss
- Ulcers on the colon that may bleed
- Tenderness in the abdomen
- Changes in bowel movements
- Swelling of colon tissue
- Erythema (redness) of the colon surface
- Diarrhea with or without blood
- Rectal bleeding
Other symptoms may include abdominal cramps, bloating, heartburn, gas, indigestion, gastroesophageal reflux disease, bowel urgency, and other uncomfortable aches in the GI system.
The type of treatment is based on what is causing colitis. In several cases, patients require a little more than symptomatic care, including medications to control pain and regulate bowel movements. Patients who have acute colitis may often need IV fluids and other interventions.
Bacteria and other pathogens that cause diarrhea and colitis may require a batch of antibiotics based on the cause. Viral infections require fluids and may take longer to treat. Some bacterial infections, including Salmonella, do not require antibiotics, as the body can eliminate the infection on its own. Other bacterial infections, including C. difficile, need antibiotics.
Diarrhea and Abdominal Pain
These are the main symptoms of colitis that may require the individual to go on a clear fluid diet for 24 hours, strict bed rest, and Tylenol for pain. No other care is required if the symptoms resolve quickly.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Proper medications are required to treat IBD. Medicines with anti-inflammatory properties may be used initially, along with the medicines that suppress the immune system. In severe cases, patients may require surgery, including removal of the colon and small intestine.
Treatment usually begins with IV fluids to prevent dehydration. If the blood supply is not restored, surgery may be required to remove parts of the bowel compromised because of the lack of blood supply.
Grocare’s Natural Ayurvedic Solution for Treating Colitis
With over two decades of experience in the business, Grocare India's primary aim remains fulfilling patients' needs through providing ayurvedic solutions. The company specializes in giving research-based, highly-effective, and affordable herbal solutions for chronic lifestyle disorders. Grocare focuses on complete patient care and disease-free population through its result-oriented ayurvedic medication with minimal or no side effects.
Made with the richness of natural herbs, Stomium®, Xembran®, and Acidim® are natural ayurvedic medicines that work together to provide relief from colitis. The Colitis Kit by Grocare India works on reducing the inflammation in the colon by controlling the sub-clinical infection in the intestinal crypts. Stomium® is an ayurvedic medicine that works by attacking the sub-clinical bacterial infection, causing it to weaken over time and helping reduce inflammation.
Xembran® is a potent natural bio-herb and a bacteriostatic that works together with the body's defense mechanism to remove harmful bacteria. This product contains a complex combination of several potent herbs that helps kill other pathogenic bacteria, thereby strengthening both the digestive and gastrointestinal systems.
Acidim® is another useful product in the Colitis Kit that is marketed in the form of tablets (850g). The product helps maintain the pH of the intestinal crypts to plasmolyze the infection, thereby allowing the intestinal tract to heal. Moreover, the medicine reduces the inflammation of the colon and helps treat colitis. The product purifies the impurities present in the body by detoxification and correcting the pH. Acidim® has anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing the symptoms of colitis.
Together, Stomium®, Xembran®, and Acidim® help in curing colitis in patients naturally over time.
Two tablets of Acidim® should be taken twice a day (post breakfast and dinner), two tablets of Stomium® should be taken a day twice (post breakfast and dinner), and one tablet of Xembran® should be taken after breakfast, and two tablets need to be taken twice daily (post-dinner), respectively. All the tablets should be taken together with meals. The tablets should be taken for 4-6 months or as prescribed by the doctor, until complete recovery. If taken within the prescribed dosage, Stomium®, Xembran®, and Acidim® do not cause any known side-effects.
Individuals can see the benefits within a few weeks of the kit's usage, in the form of relief from pain and discomfort. Results may vary depending on the severity of the condition, age, diet, and lifestyle.
Who is At Risk of Developing Colitis?
Various risk factors are concerned with each type of colitis.
Individuals are more at risk of developing colitis if they are:
- Between the ages of 15 and 30 or 60 and 80
- Have a family member who is suffering from colitis
- Jewish or Caucasian descent
People are more at risk of developing Pseudomembranous colitis (PC) if:
- They’re taking long-term antibiotics
- They have had PC before
- They are hospitalized
- They are receiving radiation treatment
- They are taking immunosuppressant drugs
Moreover, people are more at risk of developing IC if they are over 50 years of age, have low blood pressure or at risk of developing heart diseases, and if they have had an abdominal operation.