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Colitis Specialist

Los Angeles Gastroenterology Clinic

S. Radi Shamsi, MD

Gastroenterologist & Hepatologist located in Santa Monica, CA

Dealing with pain in your belly and having diarrhea all the time isn’t normal. One of Santa Monica, California’s leading gastroenterologists and hepatologists, Dr. S. Radi Shamsi, is an expert at diagnosing the causes of colitis and bowel disorders. His office at Los Angeles Gastroenterology Clinic provides the most modern diagnostic and treatment options. Dr. Shamsi will help you get to the root of your colitis flare up, so you don’t have to live another day in discomfort.

Colitis Q&A

What is colitis?

Anytime you see a health issue that ends in “itis,” you know inflammation is involved. Colitis is no exception — it’s inflammation of your colon. It can be tricky to figure out exactly what’s causing your lower intestinal tract to flare up, but Dr. Shamsi will run several tests and labs to get to the root of your issue. Colitis can stem from Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, allergic reactions, bacterial or viral infections, or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

How will I know if I have colitis?

Colitis makes itself known by giving you all kinds of uncomfortable bowel and belly issues. Most men and women who have colitis complain of severe pain and cramping in their lower abdomen. You’ll also likely have diarrhea. Having blood in loose stools is a classic sign of a positive colitis diagnosis.

Depending on what’s causing your colitis and how long it has been going on, you might also have:

  • Fever
  • Chills or cold sweats
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Skin sores and inflammation
  • Canker sores
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen joints
  • Eye inflammation

Is Crohn’s disease the same thing as colitis?

No, but they are related. Crohn’s disease affects any part of your gastrointestinal tract -- beginning from your mouth, and ending with your anus. With Crohn’s, you can have issues with any layer of your bowel wall. Colitis only affects the lining of your colon. Because symptoms of both disorders can be similar — including diarrhea — Dr. Shamsi will check you thoroughly before diagnosing you.

Are there treatments for colitis?

Yes, but it depends on the cause. Dr. Shamsi will need to collect a stool or blood sample to find the issue. If he has additional concerns, he could also suggest a colonoscopy or biopsy of your bowel.

If your colitis is caused by allergies, Dr. Shamsi can pinpoint the triggering allergens, so you know what to avoid. Or if something in your diet doesn’t digest well in your body, such as lactose from dairy products, Dr. Shamsi will counsel you on dietary changes you need to make to control colitis.

In some cases, over-the-counter medications can alleviate mild colitis symptoms. If your symptoms are severe though, Dr. Shamsi can prescribe medications that can help. Some of them get rid of foreign bacteria, while other types help reduce inflammation in your body.