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Diseases of the Ascending Colon

author image Martin Hughes
Martin Hughes is a chiropractic physician, health writer and the co-owner of a website devoted to natural footgear. He writes about health, fitness, diet and lifestyle. Hughes earned his Bachelor of Science in kinesiology at the University of Waterloo and his doctoral degree from Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Ore.
Diseases of the Ascending Colon
A woman with a fever holds her head in bed. Photo Credit: RyanKing999/iStock/Getty Images

Numerous diseases are associated with the ascending colon. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, the digestive system consists of a series of tubes that run from the mouth to the anus, and the digestive tract includes the esophagus, stomach and small and large intestines. The NIH states that many disorders or diseases can affect the digestive tract, and some diseases impair the functioning of the ascending colon.

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Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a disease that can affect the ascending colon. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, or NIDDK--a division of the NIH--ulcerative colitis is a disease that's characterized by inflammation and sores or ulcers that line the inner wall of the large intestine. Ulcers form in the large intestine when inflammation damages the cells that line the colon. In turn, the ulcers bleed and generate pus. Inflammation of the large intestine causes frequent bowel movements. Common symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis include anemia, fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, joint pain, rectal bleeding and skin lesions. Although ulcerative colitis can occur at any age, it often manifests in people 15 to 30 years of age. The NIDDK states that ulcerative colitis is equally common in men and women, and that it occurs more often in whites and people of Jewish descent.


Diverticulitis is a disease that can affect the ascending colon. The Mayo Clinic website states that diverticulitis is characterized by inflammation of one or more of a person's gut diverticula--outpouchings of the inner lining of the colon that push through the colon's muscular outer wall. Although diverticula can form at any point throughout a person's digestive tract, the most common location for diverticula is the colon. According to the Mayo Clinic website, diverticula are common, particularly in people over the age of 40, and the presence of diverticula in the absence of symptoms is called diverticulosis. If diverticula begin causing problems, such as diverticulitis, a person may experience excruciating abdominal pain, fever, nausea and noticeable changes in bowel function. The Mayo Clinic website states that some cases of diverticulitis, especially mild cases, can be managed with rest, diet changes and certain types of medication, although serious cases may require surgical intervention.

Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease can affect the ascending colon. According to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America--a non-profit organization dedicated to curing Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and improving the quality of life for all those suffering from these diseases--Crohn's disease is a chronic disorder characterized by inflammation of a person's digestive tract, especially his small and large intestines. The CCFA states that Crohn's disease can affect all layers of the colon, and that there is often normal, healthy bowel tissue between patches of affected or diseased bowel. Common symptoms associated with Crohn's disease include the following: diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, bloody stool, ulcers and reduced appetite. The Mayo Clinic website states that a person with severe Crohn's disease might also experience fever, fatigue, arthritis, eye inflammation and skin disorders.

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