• Definition

    Colitis is swelling (inflammation) of the large intestine (colon).

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Colitis can have many different causes, including:

    • Acute and chronic infections, including food poisoning
    • Inflammatory disorders (ulcerative colitis, Crohn's colitis, lymphocytic and collagenous colitis)
    • Irritable bowel syndrome
    • Lack of blood flow (ischemic colitis)
    • Past radiation to the large bowel

    For more information about a specific type of colitis see:

    • CMV colitis (a viral infection of the colon)
    • Crohn's disease (regional enteritis)
    • Cryptosporidium enterocolitis
    • Ischemic colitis
    • Necrotizing enterocolitis
    • Pseudomembranous colitis
    • Ulcerative colitis