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Colitis is the medical term for swelling (inflammation) of the intestine. It can be caused by different things, such as an infection or loss of blood flow in the intestine. Other causes are problems like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
Symptoms may include diarrhea that may be bloody, belly pain, or a fever. Sometimes symptoms go away without treatment. But you may need treatment, such as medicines, or more tests, such as blood tests or a stool test. Or you may need imaging tests like a CT scan or a colonoscopy. In some cases, the doctor may want to test a sample of tissue from the intestine. This test is called a biopsy.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: March 22, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Brian D. O'Brien MD - Internal Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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