Inﬂammation of the colon, the ﬁrst part of the large intestine. The subject suﬀers from diarrhoea, usually passing blood and mucus, abdominal pain or discomfort, and fever. Colitis can be caused by various micro-organisms: for example, CAMPYLOBACTER, CLOSTRIDIUM and SHIGELLA bacteria, viruses or amoeba. Anxiety and antibiotic drugs may also cause colitis, the latter by directly irritating the lining of the gut.
Colitis is classiﬁed as an INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE (IBD) and ULCERATIVE COLITIS is a particularly troublesome form, the cause of which is not known. CROHN’S DISEASE may also cause colitis and is included in the umbrella designation IBD (see also IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS)).