Microscopic colitis is a medical condition characterized by inflammation of the colon identified only through a microscopic study. It causes chronic watery non-bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bloating, and nausea and weight loss. Its etiology is not clear. Infections by bacteria, virus, etc., smoking, and certain medicines can cause microscopic colitis. It is different from other types of colitis. It does not cause cancer. It is not severe, but it can result in serious conditions such as dehydration, weight loss, weakness, fatigue, and lightheadedness.

Is Microscopic Colitis A Disability?

Is Microscopic Colitis A Disability?

Microscopic colitis can result in bowel urgency and abdominal pain. This makes you eligible for disability tax credit and disability benefits. If you need to use washroom urgently 8 times or more in a day due to microscopic colitis, then, you can apply for disability benefits, you will certainly get it. It is also recommended to consult a disability lawyer to claim benefits.

Microscopic colitis is an inflammatory disease of the large intestine which is marked by chronic watery diarrhea without blood and cramps in the abdomen. It has a distinctive appearance in the tissues of the large intestine, which appears normal during colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy. It is seen and identified under a microscope only. It is not a life-threatening disease like other types of colitis. But if it is not managed properly; it may lead to serious complications like dehydration, weight loss, and nutrients loss.

Microscopic colitis affects women more than men. It can happen at any age. It is more prevalent above 40- 70 years. It resolves by itself in many cases in a few days and weeks.

The causes of microscopic colitis are estimated to be infections by virus, bacteria, or a disturbed immune system, and medicines like aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, heartburn medicines, and antidepressants. However, it is not clear.

It is of two types-

  1. Lymphocytic colitis
  2. Collagenous colitis

These two inflammatory conditions have different appearance under microscopy, but they represent similar symptoms and are treated by similar methods.

Microscopic Colitis Symptoms

Microscopic colitis Symptoms are mild and can come and go many times. The condition usually resolves by itself in a couple of days or weeks. The common symptoms of the condition are frequent watery stool without blood, constant urging for stool, nausea, unexplained weight loss, painful abdomen, urging for a stool at night during sleep, involuntary stool, bloating in the abdomen, weakness, and fatigue

Microscopic Colitis Diagnosis

Colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy cannot detect the condition. It is diagnosed when a sample of the tissues of the colon-derived during colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy is studied under a microscope. Blood tests, stool sample analysis, upper GI endoscopy, and CT or MRI scan can also help to confirm the diagnosis.

Microscopic Colitis Treatment

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 microscopic colitis treatment. In such situations, long-term treatment is required. Surgery is needed rarely in some cases in which a part of the affected colon is removed to relieve the symptoms.

Your physician will suggest certain changes in the diet such as

  • Stay hydrated.
  • Eat smaller meals in a day to avoid overload for digestion in the gastrointestinal system.
  • Eat soft food such as banana, melons, rice, apple sauce for easy digestion.
  • Avoid food rich in fibers and lactose.

Conclusion

Microscopic colitis is an inflammatory condition of the colon that leads to frequent watery stools. It can result in 8 or more urgency to rush to washrooms along with cramps in the abdomen. It is not life threatening condition, but it can result in severe dehydration and nutrients loss. You are eligible for disability benefits in microscopic colitis.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 26, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

We'll help you live each day to the healthiest