Ulcerative Colitis & Crohn’s Disease | What Are the Differences?

3) Indeterminate Colitis: Definition, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

What is indeterminate colitis?

Indeterminate Colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease, which is an umbrella term referring to many types and subtypes of colitis that cannot be identified or diagnosed individually and do not fall into the category of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

It has Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis characteristics but does not fit into either of them. In most cases, it is not as severe as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and in some instances can be relieved with herbal therapy and over-the-counter medications.

In indeterminate colitis, the damage is usually not so extensive and is not always associated with autoimmune disease. Thus, it is not necessarily included in the spectrum of inflammatory bowel disease.

What causes indeterminate colitis?

The cause of indeterminate colitis is unknown, but it can be triggered by a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors, just like the other types of colitis we mentioned above. However, the main difference is that autoimmune antibodies are not detected in these patients, and the disease usually depends on the diet and some lifestyle factors with some genetic predisposition.

Common risk factors include a family history of inflammatory bowel disease or indeterminate colitis, smoking, and a diet high in processed foods. The latter play an important role in worsening the symptoms of indeterminate colitis, especially if they have plenty of saturated fats and carbonated beverages. People who are not used to eating high-fiber sources may also experience indeterminate colitis symptoms if they start consuming too much fiber all of a sudden and without proper hydration.