How To Cope With Microscopic Colitis?
Every disease has its own proportion of discomfort. The challenge is to cope with the symptoms associated with the disease and managing the symptoms so as to live a comfortable life. However, some disease causes more discomfort than the other, especially when it is related to gastrointestinal system. It is because this system is that vital part which is responsible for absorbing the food for energy production. Further, managing bloating and flatulence are other concerns. Frequent visit to the bathrooms in case of diarrhea drastically reduces the quality of life.
How To Cope With Microscopic Colitis?
There are various ways to cope with different symptoms related to microscopic colitis. Following are the major symptoms and the ways to manage them:
- Diarrhea: Non-bloody diarrhea is the most common symptom of microscopic colitis. However, along with the waste material, the important constituent leaving the body is the electrolytes. Thus, the coping mechanism should be to treat the diarrhea and to replenish the lost electrolytes. For diarrhea, various antidiarrheal medications are available such as loperamide and diphenoxylate. Further, to replenish the electrolytes, water along with the electrolyte powder should be taken at regular interval.
- Abdominal Pain: As the microscopic colitis is also characterized by inflammation, there is an abdominal pain in the patient with microscopic colitis. To cope with the pain, various anti-inflammatory medications are used such as mefenamic acid.
Fatigue: There is an electrolyte loss from the body and the electrolytes such as sodium and calcium are used in a variety of energy production process. This will lead to fatigue. To replenish this loss, water with electrolyte should be administered. Also, as the digestive system is functioning below its capacity, the nutrition available to the body is less. Thus, easily digestible food should be taken.
- Managing Bloating And Wind: Bloating and wind are general symptoms in any GI disorder as they are the direct consequences of indigestion. In order to cope with these symptoms, the food should be low in fiber. If possible, regular exercise should be done to avoid flatulence.
Joint And Muscle Pain: The patient with microscopic colitis also experiences the muscle and joint pain. To cope with these symptoms, anti-inflammatory drugs can be used. These drugs may be orally administered or topically applied. The drugs used are diclofenac or aceclofenac. However, these drugs should be used with care as they may sometimes flare-up the disease.
- Indigestion: There is long term indigestion with microscopic colitis and the food is not well absorbed. To cope with this problem, the food having low fiber and low fat should be incorporated in the diet.
- Avoiding Some Foods And Drinks: Various foods and drinks negatively impact the symptoms of the disease. The food high in fiber and high in fat aggravates the condition. Similarly, the food that requires comprehensive digestion does not fit in the given scenario. Certain drinks containing caffeine, artificial sweetener and carbonated water increases the symptoms. Beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks as well as smoking should be avoided.
- Diet Frequency: In order to cope with the nutritional deficiency and fatigue, the food should be properly absorbed. It is advised to take the small meals at regular intervals as compared to heavy meal.
Types of Microscopic Colitis
Microscopic colitis is the inflammation of the walls of the colon. On the basis of cause of inflammation, there are two types of microscopic colitis:
- Lymphocytic Colitis: In this type of colitis, the lymphocytic cells are aggregated below the colon wall and caused inflammation.
- Collagenous Colitis: In this type of colitis, there is a deposition of collagen below the colon wall causing inflammation.
Some researchers believe that these are the two phases of similar disease i.e. the lymphocytic colitis is followed by collagenous colitis.
Various strategies are adopted to cope the symptoms of microscopic colitis and these includes the treatment of the disease and the management of the symptoms. The coping mechanism may include the use of antidiarrheals, anti-inflammatory drugs, electrolyte supplement and easily digestible and low fiber diet.