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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 fever, diarrhea that may be bloody, or belly pain. Sometimes symptoms go away without treatment. But you may need treatment 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.
The doctor has checked you carefully, but problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.
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 call line 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 call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: April 15, 2020
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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