Notice: Users may be experiencing issues with displaying some pages on stanfordhealthcare.org. We are working closely with our technical teams to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.
Scientists believe abnormal immune system responses cause colitis. When this happens, your body’s immune system attacks your cells and organs. Examples of other autoimmune conditions include celiac disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Other possible causes for colitis include:
Bacteria that produce toxins and irritate the lining of your colon
Food sensitivity, which can cause symptoms when you eat trigger foods, such as dairy and gluten
Genetic factors, which can be passed down from one generation to another
Medications, including aspirin and ibuprofen, which can irritate the lining of your colon