Infectious colitis is caused by either a virus or bacteria attacking the colon and causing inflammation. For some this may become chronic, as seen with Crohn's disease. In other people a single round of antibiotics will eliminate the colitis entirely. While a simple inflammation may not seem like an all too serious disease the truth is that the symptoms alone, if left untreated, can be deadly.
As with most digestive problems, abdominal pain and some bloating are common with infectious colitis. While some may write off this discomfort as normal, as part of a flu bug, the National Institutes of Health insist that it is important to mention the persistence of the pain and bloating at a doctor's appointment so your physician can arrive at the proper diagnosis.
The most common symptom of infectious colitis is frequent diarrhea. With colitis, stools are often described as watery. However, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases warn that some forms of colitis, ulcerative colitis, may result in bloody stools. With bloody stools, anemia can set in. If this is the case, it is important to stay well hydrated and boost the amount of iron-rich foods you eat while undergoing treatment.
As with nearly any infection it is common to experience a fever if an infectious colitis is present. This is the result of the body attempting to fight off an infection caused by the bacteria that is disrupting your body system. If colitis is suspected remember to check for fever frequently. This is one indicator that may warrant the testing needed for a proper diagnosis.
Although colitis is a condition of the colon it is not uncommon for this disease to cause an overall disruption to the digestive system. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association part of the digestive troubles may result in nausea with or without vomiting.
With frequent watery stools and vomiting it does not take long before the weight begins to fall off. Sudden weight loss means there is also a very good chance that dehydration is setting in. These two factors combined are a deadly force that should be addressed immediately. Treatment may require intravenous feedings and hospitalization.