Microscopic colitis is an inflammatory disease that affects large intestine resulting in chronic watery diarrhea and crampy abdomen. It can only be identified by microscopic study of the tissues of the colon taken during colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy. It is symptoms are the pain in the abdomen, frequent loose watery non-bloody stool, nausea, weight loss, bloating and fatigue. It is not related to other types of colitis. It often gets improved on its own. In some worse cases, treatment is needed with modification in diet.
What Should I Eat When I Have Microscopic Colitis?
Physicians recommend certain changes in the diet to gain rapid improvement from microscopic colitis. These changes are-
You Should Eat Soft Foods– one should eat soft food such as banana, melons, rice, apple sauce for easy digestion for microscopic colitis.
You Should Eat Small Meals Many Times In A Day– it is advisable to eat smaller meals in a day to avoid overload for digestion in the gastrointestinal system. This is necessary to allow proper healing of the intestine in microscopic colitis.
Staying Hydrated– consume lots of drinks and fruit juices in small quantities in small intervals to avoid dehydration. Drinking beverages containing electrolytes, multivitamin, and mineral-rich drinks can satisfy your requirements of minerals and water after an excessive loss.
All the food items that may irritate the colon should be removed from the diet. These foods are-
- Lactose- a protein found in the milk and milk products
- Artificial sweeteners
- Spicy food
- Raw vegetables
- Bread, pasta and other starchy food
Microscopic colitis is an inflammatory disease of the large intestine that is identified only under a microscope. It is detected when a sample taken from the colon during a colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy is studied under a microscope. It is not a serious anomaly like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. It does not cause any cancerous growth.
Microscopic colitis affects women more than men typically in adulthood. Its exact cause is not known. The risk factors of this condition can be smoking, genetic make-up, long-term consumption of some medicines such as aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, heartburn drugs, antidepressants, etc., infection by bacteria or virus and a disturbed immune system.
Microscopic Colitis Symptoms
The symptoms of microscopic colitis usually appear and disappear frequently. Many times, symptoms settle by its own. Sometimes symptoms may long for weeks, months or years. The symptoms of microscopic colitis are-
- Chronic, watery diarrhea without blood in the stool
- Frequent urging to stool especially at night
- Pain and cramps in the abdomen which is usually mild in nature
- Weight loss
Microscopic Colitis Treatment
The symptoms of microscopic colitis may improve by their own in many cases. If the condition worsens or shows no significant improvement, then it is recommended to make certain changes in the diet for treatment along with medicines.
Microscopic colitis is treated primarily by stopping the consumption of medicines that provoke its symptoms. It is treated by antibiotics such as erythromycin and metronidazole, antidiarrheal medicines like atropine, loperamide, bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol), anti-inflammatory medicines like sulfasalazine and mesalamine, bile acid blockers like cholestyramine resin, corticosteroids, and medicines like mercaptopurine, methotrexate or azathioprine can control exaggerated immune system. The disease can return again even after successful treatment. In such situations, long-term treatment is required. Surgery is needed rarely in some cases. A part of the affected colon is removed to relieve the symptoms.
Microscopic colitis is a disease of large intestine marked by persistent watery loose motions with cramps in the abdomen. Avoidance of diet that irritates the colon discussed above and adoption dietary changes like having small meals, soft foods and others described above can help in the resolution of your condition.
- 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
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