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Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract. The disease occurs when the lining of your rectum or colon becomes inflamed. As a result, tiny ulcers appear and spread upward. The disease causes the bowel to empty frequently and move its contents rapidly. The patient experiences bleeding and discharge of mucus.   While colitis can affect both genders and all ages, most people are diagnosed between ages of 10 to 40. After age 50, men are more likely to get colitis. Although the main cause of the disease is unknown, researchers believe that the immune system has an abnormal response to the colon. They also think that your genes and the environment can cause colitis.   The severity of symptoms varies from person to person. Common symptoms include bloody stool, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, weight loss, rectal pain, malnutrition, and loud abdominal sounds. Colitis is a chronic condition. Treatment involves surgery and drug therapy. The main goal is to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.
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