In medicine, colitis refers to an inflammation of the colon and is often used to describe an inflammation of the large intestine (colon, caecum and rectum). Colitides may be acute and self-limited or chronic, i.e. persistent, and broadly fits into the category of digestive diseases. In a medical context, the label colitis (without qualification) is used if: The signs and symptoms of colitides are quite variable and dependent on the etiology (or cause) of the given colitis and factors that modify its course and severity. Symptoms of colitis may include: abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fatigue, diarrhea, cramping, urgency and bloating. Signs may include: abdominal tenderness, weight loss, changes in bowel habits (increased frequency), fever, bleeding (overt or occult)/bloody stools, diarrhea and distension. Signs seen on colonoscopy include: colonic mucosal erythema (redness of the inner surface of the colon), ulcers, bleeding.
Contributions by Nephron, Timberframe, and Deli nk.