As could be seen from the names, the causes for colitis are as varied as the types. For example Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis may be caused due to genetic predisposition as well as environmental factors such as diet (low dietary fiber). Chemical colitis is caused by ingestion of harsh chemicals while infectious colitis is caused by infections from microorganisms such as Clostridium Difficile. Ischemic colitis is caused by lack of blood flow. The cause of some types of colitis such as collagenous colitis (increased collagen in colon's connective tissue) is still unknown though some research blame antidepressants.
The symptoms of colitis vary with the type of colitis. Generally it is characterized by abdominal pain, fatigue, diarrhea, appetite loss, cramps, bloating, and urgency. There would also be signs such as weight loss, variation in bowel habits, bleeding, abdominal tenderness, dehydration, and fever. Typically physical examination, colonoscopy, and lab culture are done to diagnose the disease. CT and X-rays could also be used.
Any complication during colitis can worsen the condition. The patient would have severe diarrhea, anemia, fever, and severe abdominal pain. In about fifty percent of the cases, the patient would require surgery. Other complications typically seen include bleeding, ulceration (formation of ulcers), toxic megacolon (where your intestine dilates rapidly within a span of 1 to 2 days), and hole in the colon. The toxic megacolon would need colectomy (removal of colon) since, if allowed to worsen, the condition could lead to colon perforation (opening).
Colitis due to its many effects such as bowel urgency and the abdominal pain can cause disabilities. You are eligible for disability tax credit and disability benefits which would help you deal with the disease. The Canadian Disability Corporation (CDC) could help you acquire information about the disability benefits and disability tax credit that you are eligible for and would assist you with filing application for the benefits. You just have to fill in the information regarding your colitis in an online form at the CDC website and the company's qualified professionals will advise you.