Prevent infectious colitis with antibiotics, supplements, and other holistic methods. Learn why this kind of infection can cause dehydration, diarrhea, and other symptoms.
What is Infectious Colitis?
Colitis can present itself in several different ways. Many types of colitis can attack the body. While we’ll be focusing on infectious colitis, let’s introduce you to the other types of colitis:
- ulcerative colitis
- microscopic colitis
- pseudomembranous colitis
- ischemic colitis
- allergic colitis
- radiation colitis
- diversion colitis
Colitis is a chronic digestive disease that causes inflammation in the inner lining of the colon. A few causes of colonic inflammation are infection, lack of blood flow to the colon, and irritable bowel disease (IBD).
Infectious colitis is associated with blood or mucus in bowel movements, abdominal pain, and fever. Infectious colitis is caused by a viral, parasitic, or bacterial infection. When bacteria invade the colon, it can become irritated or inflamed thus causing colitis. The bacterial infections associated with colitis are C. diff (clostridioides difficile), Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. Coli, and Yersinia.
Yet another chronic inflammatory disease that triggers inflammation in the gut, ulcerative colitis is typically found in the colon (large intestines) and rectum. Symptoms can range from mild to moderate to severe. The symptoms to watch out for if you think you have ulcerative colitis are rectal bleeding, bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, and cramps. Research shows that individuals with ulcerative colitis are at an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
Symptoms of Infectious Colitis
There are a variety of symptoms associated with infectious colitis. Symptoms can vary depending on whether you have mild to moderate colitis or severe colitis. Common symptoms associated with bacterial colitis include abdominal tenderness, weight loss, loss of appetite, fever, irregular bowel movement, and diarrhea.
What Causes Infectious Colitis?
Infectious colitis is caused by a bacterial infection attacking the colon or digestive tract. Bacterial infections cause the gut to become inflamed. There are various causes such as viral infections, contaminated food, contaminated water, parasitic infection, and other bacterial pathogens. The diagnosis of infectious colitis centers on clinical findings, laboratory tests, endoscopy, and biopsy.
Before we look at the treatment and prevention of infectious colitis, we must also understand the risk factors. Symptoms could worsen if the proper measures are not implemented to treat the underlying cause of infection. Let’s look at individual risk factors.
When there is a perforation of the bowel, it means there is a hole in the lining of the colon. One of the main causes is weakening of the bowel wall from chronic inflammation. Bowel perforations can cause bacteria to spread throughout the abdomen eventually causing further infection.
Fulminant colitis is the most severe form of acute colitis. It is characterized by severe inflammation and sores in the colon lining that causes the colon walls to expand. The regular contractions of the intestinal wall stop and the colon loses muscle tone as the condition progresses. Inflammation causes the colon to swell and abdominal distension occurs as a result
Toxic megacolon is a rare but life-threatening complication of severe colitis. Without proper treatment, toxic megacolon can cause abdominal distension leading to bowel rupture. This condition requires immediate medical attention. h
What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
Inflammatory bowel disease, IBD, is an umbrella term for various types of diseases associated with your digestive tract. These are classified as chronic inflammatory diseases. The main types of inflammatory bowel diseases are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Inflammatory bowel diseases are associated with symptoms similar to infectious colitis including abdominal pain, irregular bowel movements, and abdominal pain. Severe cases can lead to severe dehydration, renal failure, and necrotizing enterocolitis.
The Holistic Treatment Methods for Infectious Colitis
Holistic methods are important foundations for the treatment of chronic illnesses. A healthy diet and exercise routine are great ways to prevent infectious colitis. Holistic medicine works by treating the patients and not just their diseases. Learn what holistic methods can help after one’s diagnosis of infectious colitis.
A Healthy Diet
Maintaining a healthy diet is vital to keeping your body healthy. A diet high in fat, refined sugar, and animal products is one to avoid especially when you are dealing with a gut-targeted disease. Disease control starts with optimizing your gut bacteria. There are good and bad bacteria in your gut, so following a healthy diet will help you maintain a good balance of good and bad bacteria.
Exercise can help strengthen your body and your immune system. If you are trying to avoid things like inflammation, a weakened immune system, stress, weight gain, and decreased bone density, then following a regular exercise regimen will help.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Lastly, supplements are another way to keep inflammation and colitis at bay. Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and have been shown to reduce intestinal inflammation in colitis patients.
Iife symptoms persist despite the above methods, you may need to start an antibiotic treatment. Antibiotic therapy can be beneficial if other measures are not helpful.
Bio: Index Health is a healthcare team specialized in personalized medicine and root cause evaluation and treatment. Our multi-disciplinary care team is made up of physicians and nutritionists that are trained and certified in root cause (functional) medicine.