Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Microscopic colitis is the inflammatory disease of the large intestine or colon. This condition causes persistent watery diarrhea. It is known as microscopic colitis because the inflammation cannot be seen by naked eyes. It is not seen in normal colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. There is a need to identify the inflammation by carrying out a microscopic examination.

Can Microscopic Colitis Be Cured?

  • Well, presently there is no cure for microscopic colitis. This is because the specific cause of the disease is not yet known. However, it is possible to manage the symptoms through treatment.
  • Most of the times, the condition of microscopic colitis will improve on its own, especially if the symptoms are mild.
  • Changes in the diet are recommended in order to reduce the diarrhea and other symptoms.
  • It is advisable to reduce the intake of sugary foods and drinks when you have microscopic colitis. Fatty, oily and spicy foods are to be avoided as well, so that the digestive system does not get irritated. Avoiding alcohol and caffeinated drinks totally is of prime importance. Aerated and carbonated beverages are to be avoided too. This kind of drinks can cause gas and worsen the symptoms. Raw vegetables are also to be avoided, as these are difficult to digest. Well cooked food is advised which is easy on digestion.
  • Eating frequent, small and well-spaced meals is much better than eating one large or full meal.
  • If some medicines are responsible for the condition of microscopic colitis, then those medicines must be stopped immediately, with proper consultation from the physician.
  • Replacement with more safe and tolerable medications will be done by the physician.
  • Anti-diarrheal medications may be prescribed in order to reduce the diarrhea.
  • On rare occasions, when the above remedies are not proving efficient, a physician may recommend steroids for you, to relieve the symptoms.
  • Surgery might be needed on rarest of the rare occasions of microscopic colitis.

Microscopic colitis cannot be cured, but the symptoms like diarrhea, pain, dehydration etc., can be managed considerably and efficiently with the help of certain medications. The line of treatment paired with recommended dietary changes can prove to be immensely beneficial.

Two different types of microscopic colitis are seen – collagenous and lymphocytic colitis.

Let us also have a look at its symptoms and their severity; and also, an overview of the causes of the disease.

Symptoms Of Microscopic Colitis

The first symptom of microscopic colitis is persistent watery diarrhea. The diarrhea may be present for months or even years before they seek medical attention and a correct diagnosis is established. This usually happens, because a person may get intermittent bouts of diarrhea, with a period of total wellness in between the two bouts.

  • This is very unlikely to raise any suspicions in the individual.
  • Sometimes, there might be some cramps in abdomen.
  • A pain of some degree may also be present.
  • Stools generally do not contain any blood.
  • There might be a sudden weight loss due to diarrhea.
  • Nausea might be present along with a loss of appetite.
  • Dehydration may occur as a result of fluid loss from the body
  • Fecal incontinence can be seen.

Causes Of Microscopic Colitis

It is not known clearly as to what causes microscopic colitis. Research is going on and many researchers do believe that it may be an auto immune disorder. Some of them also believe that prolonged use of certain medications might be a cause of inflammation of this type in the colon. There is also a speculation that some bacteria that produce toxins which might be irritating to the colon-may also be a cause of this condition. Yet others think that viruses that are known to trigger inflammation may be the causative factor. There is also some link between bile acid malabsorption and inflammation in the colon.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: November 2, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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