Colitis Causes and Risk Factors for Different Types of Colitis
There are many types of colitis, and colitis causes may differ from one to the other. In the following article, we will analyze the different types and see what can trigger these inflammations of the colon.
First of all, there is the autoimmune range of colitis. This includes two types, from the group of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), which are chronic: the ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Specialists are yet to discover the causes of IBD. The unknown factor (or range of factors) causes the immune system of the human body to produce an inflammatory reaction, which develops uncontrolled.
Specialists have come to the conclusion that there is a genetic predisposition to inflammatory bowel diseases.
However, the causes that trigger the process are not 100% clear, even if some theories have been offered by the academic community.
A more idiopathic colitis is the microscopic one, which can only be diagnosed after microscopic examination of the tissue. There are two types: the lymphocytic colitis and the collagenous one. This group, too, has unclear triggers.
For the lymphocytic colitis, some specialists have reported that the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and some anti depressants can be implicated. Overactive immune responses are also suspected as colitis causes, but there is no definite answer.
For the collagenous colitis, aside NSAID and depression treatments, smoking has been found to be a risk factor.
Thirdly, we have the iatrogenic class. For the two different types in this category – diversion colitis and chemical colitis – the causes are different. Diversion colitis is a complication of ileostomy or colostomy, two types of surgery, and it usually occurs within a year of the chirurgical intervention.
Chemical colitis is caused by harsh chemicals introduced to the colon, by a soap enema, other enema types or by other procedures. Chemical colitis can sometimes trigger one of the two types of IBD.
In conditions triggered by infections, the colitis causes are clear: enterohemorrhagic colitis can be caused by a certain type of toxins that come along with infections. Parasitic infections, like the one caused by Entamoeba histolytica, can also be a triggering factor. Most of the viral and bacteria related infections are food-borne illnesses.
Here are some of the common bacterial colitis causes: Shigella, E Coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter. In these cases, serious dehydration may appear.
Pseudomembranous colitis appears because of the C. difficile bacteria. The C. difficile generates a toxin that leads to heavy diarrhea. This condition may appear in patients that have used strong antibiotics.
An ischemic colitis has to do with blood vessels. Due to artherosclerosis, these vessels can become narrow. When this happens to the colon, the blood supply suffers and the inflammation appears. Also, the colon can lose its supply because of mechanical reasons, like hernia or volvulus.
Whether the causes of your colitis are traceable or not, the most important thing is to receive an exact diagnosis and to start an efficient treatment, in order to avoid surgical procedures.
Colitis causes, as you have seen, are quite a handful, even if we do not know all of them, and the more exact the diagnosis is, the easier you can find out what triggered the condition and treat it.