The causes of colitis range from a virus, to food poisoning, to a lack of blood flow in the colon, to a medication, or to an infection.

Colitis is inflammation of the large intestine (the colon), which is usually accompanied by symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and gas. The causes are varied, since the trigger can be a virus, food poisoning , lack of blood flow or an infection, for example.


Depending on the factors that have caused it, we can talk about different types of colitis.

ulcerative colitis

It is chronic and affects 500 out of 100,000 Europeans. It causes inflammation and the presence of ulcers or wounds on the inner wall of the colon. The inflammation first occurs in the rectum and spreads to the colon.

The specific causes are unknown, but genetics and environmental factors are known to play a role. Food in this case is very important. In this way, during the acute outbreak, foods rich in fiber, those that cause flatulence and low-quality fats must be excluded.

In the remission phase, a diet rich in antioxidants and high nutritional value must be followed. It is necessary to avoid alcohol, salt, processed foods, sugars, low-quality fats and additives.

toxic colitis

It is usually a serious complication of the previous one.

drug-induced colitis

Certain chemicals can cause irritation and inflammation of the lining of the colon. This is the case, for example, of iron supplements, vitamin C, antibiotics or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Nervous colitis

It is caused by a situation of continued stress.

hemorrhagic colitis

It is caused by the bacterium Escherichia Coli.

granulomatous colitis

It is an autoimmune disease caused by Crohn’s disease. The inflammation originates in the digestive tract and travels to the rectum.

ischemic colitis

The cause is decreased blood flow in the large intestine. The symptoms in this case are abdominal pain and diarrhea with the presence of blood.

necrotizing enterocolitis

It occurs in newborns if for some reason not enough blood and oxygen reach the colon. It is more common in premature babies .


Depending on the type of colitis, the symptoms may vary. However, there are certain common signs, such as colic, abdominal pain, diarrhea or gas. Weight loss, rectal pain, fever, blood or pus in the stool, intestinal bleeding, joint pain, vomiting, mouth sores, or skin ulcers may also occur.

Nor is the treatment the same for all people, since treating an infection is not the same as treating an inflammation or a lack of blood flow. To determine the type of colitis, the doctor will do a physical exam and, if necessary, order some tests. These can range from a biopsy to an abdominal X-ray, an MRI or a CT scan.


What you do have to take care of when you suffer from colitis is your diet. If you have ever suffered from it, you will know that there are certain foods that make you feel worse. Therefore, the question is not so much what to avoid as knowing what to eat. In general, the following foods should not make you sick:

  • Apple compote without sugar or cinnamon. This puree is very easily digested.
  • Overcooked vegetables. Above all, those that provide vitamin A and K , such as carrots or spinach. But it is very important that they practically fall apart when you prick them with a fork, because that way they will have removed most of the fiber.
  • Plain yogurt . Choose a brand that is high in probiotics.
  • Salmon. In small amounts, this protein provides you with omega 3 , which helps reduce inflammation.
  • Water. You’ll need to hydrate, so ideally you should fill a glass half with water and the other half with an isotonic drink.