Ulcerative Colitis

How to Know if You Have Colitis

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Know if You Have Colitis

Colitis is a disease characterized by inflammation of the part that covers the large intestine (colon) or rectum. It can originate from different causes, whether viral or bacterial infections, problems with the immune system, lack of blood flow, and continuous use of certain drugs, among others. Whatever the cause, medical diagnosis is essential to initiate the most appropriate treatment for each case. So that you can detect it yourself initially, this OneHowTo explains the main symptoms and provide answers to the question of how to know if you have colitis.

Steps to follow:


First, it is important to know the root cause as there are different types of colitis. They are:

  • Ulcerative colitis: chronic disease with inflammation and sores or ulcers in the colon.
  • Toxic colitis: a serious complication of ulcerative colitis.
  • Colitis due to the use of certain types of medication: the intake of certain substances such as antibiotics or NSAIDs can cause the lining of the colon to become irritated and inflamed.
  • Haemorrhagic colitis: is caused due to the bacterium Escherichia Coli (E-coli).
  • Colitis nervous: its manifestation occurs because the patient regularly suffers from stress and anxiety.
  • Granulomatous colitis: results from a disease of the immune system called Crohn's disease, in which the body mistakenly attacks its own healthy tissue.

Once you know the different types, bear in mind that colitis symptoms may occur to a greater or lesser degree depending on each patient, and they can appear gradually or without warning. One of the most common symptoms of this condition is diarrhea and the presence of blood and pus in stools. This can be accompanied by an irreparable and urgent need to defecate really frequently, which continues until the end of the bowel movement, severe abdominal pain, rectal pain, shivering and intestinal gases.

How to Know if You Have Colitis - Step 2

On many occasions and in cases of substantial severity, any symptoms of colitis as mentioned above can also manifest accompanied by:

  • Fever
  • Tachycardia.
  • Weight loss.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Joint pain.
  • Dehydration
  • Skin ulcers.
  • Eye inflammation.

The presence of frequent diarrhea or blood in stools is not always synonymous with colitis. It is possible that these conditions are the result of other infectious diseases such as gastroenteritis, colon polyps, endocrine problems, pancreatic problems, etc. For this reason, you must remain alert to the appearance of any other symptoms described and visit your doctor immediately to determine what exactly may be causing them.


Normally, colitis is medically diagnosed following a physical examination of the patient, as well as some medical tests such as a Colonoscopy which allows a physician to see if there is any inflammation in the lining of the colon and to collect a sample. In addition, other tests such as an MRI of the abdomen, an abdominal X-ray or a barium enema (a specific x-ray of the large intestine, which allows visualisation of the colon and rectum) may be necessary.

How to Know if You Have Colitis - Step 5

Treatment of colitis will depend on the particular cause of each case, so you should always follow the directions of your doctor regarding medication and lifestyle. Following an adequate diet will certainly help you feel better and enhance your health, as well as helping to reduce and control the symptoms of colitis.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Know if You Have Colitis, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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How to Know if You Have Colitis