The colon no doubt is often affected as well as the small intestine in the catarrhal conditions already described. But in some cases the physical signs and the appearance of blood and mucus in the stools indicate affection of the colon alone. Numerous varieties are described, but they cannot be classified. Nothing is known as to its causation, but it can hardly be doubted that it is of bacterial or parasitic origin. It is possible that some instances of it own the same cause as ulcerative colitis, and that they may be regarded as slight attacks of that disease, differing from it only in degree, in the slightness or perhaps even the absence of ulceration. Occasionally a previous history of such attacks ending in recovery is obtained from patients suffering from the fully developed ulcerative disease, and I think that the unusually long story of some cases of ulcerative colitis is thus explained. The occurrence of such slight attacks strengthens the general view of the identity of ulcerative colitis with bacillary dysentery, in which similar grades of severity are observed.
Colitis is readily set up by errors of diet in those who have previously suffered from dysentery. It occurs under many conditions of severe illness, such as septicaemia, toxaemia of any kind, renal disease and pneumonia.
In all cases, primary and secondary, milk alone is permissible, either diluted (4 or 6 to 1 of lime-water, soda-water or barley-water) or as blancmange made with isinglass. It is starvation diet, but 70 oz. (1,400 calories) may be given and occasionally even more. Any departure froma milk diet should be postponed as long as possible. The final additions to the diet should be a small allowance of carbo-hydrate (especially Benger's food) the yolk of eggs, and plasmon. A return to meat, meat-extracts and vegetables must be made with the greatest caution.