Colitis is an inflammation of the colon or large intestine. Microscopic colitis gets its name because the inflammation is so small that it cannot be seen with naked eyes. To diagnose it, a pathologist has to take a sample of tissue and run it under a microscope.
What Not To Eat When You Have Microscopic Colitis?
Well, certain eating habits are recommended as a part of the effective treatment, to reduce the symptoms of microscopic colitis.
- Foods less in fat and fiber are advised. These foods will help lessen the diarrhea.
- Dairy products and gluten can worsen the symptoms. Hence, one or both of these may be advised to be discontinued.
- Coffee (caffeine) and sugars may worsen the symptoms. It is advisable to refrain from these. Tea should be avoided too.
- Aerated and carbonated beverages may prove to be of adverse effects. These must be avoided totally when you have microscopic colitis.
- Alcohol consumption must be totally avoided.
- Lots of fluid intake is recommended. Water is welcome always, but sometimes, drinks with added electrolytes like sodium and potassium, might be needed in order to restore the required electrolyte levels.
- If having fruit juice, it should be diluted or watered-down, so that it is not strong on sugars.
- Easily digestible and soft foods are recommended. Bananas, melons and applesauce are ideal. Rice is recommended too.
- Foods high in fiber like beans, nuts etc. are to be avoided.
- Raw vegetables are to be avoided and well-cooked food is to be eaten.
- Instead of eating one full or a large meal, it is advisable to eat frequent small meals, which are also soft, well-cooked and easy to digest. This will help in improving the symptoms of diarrhea in microscopic colitis.
- Foods that are irritating for the digestive system should be avoided. These include any kind of fatty, spicy and oily foods.
- If any medicines are the causative factor for your microscopic colitis, then such medications must be immediately stopped. Your physician can substitute such medicines with some other, safer medicines for you.
Causes of Microscopic Colitis
There is no known cause of microscopic colitis as of now. Some researchers believe it to be a kind of auto immune disease. Some relate it to a long-term use of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Some other medicines are also linked with this condition.
Treatment For Microscopic Colitis
Microscopic colitis may improve on its own. However, if the microscopic colitis symptoms worsen or persist, there may be a need to start some treatment to relieve the symptoms. Microscopic colitis does not have a specific treatment as of yet. The treatment mostly aims at relieving the symptoms.
Along with changes in diet, some medicines can be prescribed by the physician. These medicines primarily include the ones that will reduce the diarrhea considerably. These are medicines like-
- Loperamide, which is an anti-diarrheal drug.
- Cholestyramine, which blocks the bile acids, as bile acids can also increase the diarrhea
- Budesonide, which is a steroid
- Mesalamine, which is an anti-inflammatory
- Azathioprine, which is an immune-suppressant, as these may help to reduce the inflammation in severe cases.
Surgery may be advised, if the above-mentioned treatment and dietary changes are not effective in treating the symptoms of microscopic colitis. However, this is a very rare occurrence.
Prevention of Microscopic Colitis
As the definite cause of microscopic colitis is not yet known, it is difficult to prevent it. However, correct and prompt treatment may help in preventing the recurrence of the disease.
Microscopic colitis has no specific treatment. Symptomatic treatment is carried out to help relieve the diarrhea and other symptoms. Long-term prognosis of microscopic colitis is also not specific.
- Mayo Clinic. (2021). Microscopic Colitis. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/microscopic-colitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20451405
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2020). Microscopic Colitis. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/microscopic-colitis