Microscopic Colitis: What You Should Know

microscopic colitis
Microscopic Colitis

Colon inflammation caused by microscopic colitis can result in persistently watery diarrhoea. Treatments you might think about include diet modifications, medication, or surgery.

Colon inflammation is known as microscopic colitis. Digestive symptoms, such as persistent diarrhoea, are caused by it. Treatment is based on the severity and type of symptoms.

A healthcare team should be consulted before deciding on medication or surgery, as sometimes dietary and lifestyle modifications are sufficient.

About this condition

Your colon, sometimes known as your big intestine, is impacted by a disorder called microscopic colitis. It is an irritation that frequently results in diarrhoea that is watery and persistent. Examining colon tissue under a microscope is necessary to confirm a diagnosis of microscopic colitis. The name of the condition comes from this.

Three varieties of microscopic colitis exist:
  • Collagenous colitis: The colon tissue develops a layer of protein as a result of this kind of microscopic colitis.
  • Lymphocytic colitis: Your colon's lymphocyte count, or white blood cells, rises as a result of this kind of colitis.
  • Incomplete microscopic colitis: This subtype has characteristics of both lymphatic and collagenous colitis.

How does this compare to UC?

The term colitis refers to an inflamed colon, and microscopic colitis (MCC) and ulcerative colitis (UC) share many characteristics.

However, they are not in the same state. Your immune system attacking colon tissue causes UC, a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Although it also affects the colon, microscopic colitis is unrelated to IBD.

Typically, a colonoscopy is used to diagnose UC. A colonoscopy can also be used to diagnose microscopic colitis.

Additionally, UC is associated with bloody diarrhoea even though diarrhoea is a common symptom of both illnesses. Usually, diarrhoea caused by microscopic colitis does not include blood.


Prolonged diarrhoea is the most typical sign of microscopic colitis. Diarrhoea is usually watery and might happen five to ten times a day. Other signs and symptoms may consist of:
  • abdominal cramps
  • unintentional weight loss
  • fecal incontinence
  • bloating
  • nausea
  • feeling the urgent need to pass stool
  • muscle and joint pain
  • fatigue
  • dehydration
  • acid reflux
  • headaches
Symptoms are erratic. Individuals who have microscopic colitis may undergo flare-ups that are challenging to treat, as well as flare-up-free intervals. Additionally, symptoms could go away on their own.


Although the precise aetiology of microscopic colitis is unknown, there are several potential contributing variables, according to researchers. Among the potential reasons are:
  • viruses that cause inflammation
  • Toxins produced by bacteria irritate the lining of the colon.
  • Medications that irritate the colon's lining
  • an autoimmune condition like rheumatoid arthritis or celiac disease
  • bile being absorbed improperly, causing inflammation and discomfort

Risk factors

Microscopic colitis has been associated with several risk factors. Among them are:
  • smoking
  • being a woman
  • being in the age range of 50 to 70
  • have a family medical history of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • possessing a few autoimmune conditions, such as celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid illness, and type 1 diabetes
  • using specific drugs, such as those for migraine, depression, high blood pressure, allergies, heart problems, and pain.

How do you treat microscopic colitis?

Treatment for microscopic colitis is based on several variables, including the kind and severity of your symptoms. Occasionally, symptoms might be resolved with dietary and lifestyle modifications. Medications and even surgery are examples of other therapies.

Typical therapy choices consist of
  • A low-fat high-fiber diet: Your digestive system can benefit from a diet modification, which can also alleviate the symptoms of microscopic colitis.
  • Identifying foods that trigger symptoms: Certain foods may exacerbate the symptoms of microscopic colitis in certain individuals. Discovering these foods and removing them from your diet can have a significant impact.
  • Quitting smoking: Giving up smoking can help alleviate some of the symptoms of microscopic colitis and enhance your general health.
  • Changing medications: Medication might aggravate microscopic colitis or perhaps cause it. If your doctor thinks one of your drugs is causing your symptoms, they may adjust your dosage.
  • Bulking agents: A medicine known as a bulking agent causes slower, more solid bowel motions.
  • Antidiarrhea medications: An antidiarrhea drug reduces the contraction of your muscles, which helps with some symptoms.
  • Bile-blocking medications: Bile blockers have the potential to lessen diarrhoea and inflammation.
  • Steroids: Inflammation can be reduced by steroids.
  • Anti-inflammatories: Sometimes, taking medications that reduce intestinal inflammation can assist with symptoms.
  • Immune-suppressants: If your doctor concludes that the inflammation in your colon is being caused by your immune system, you may be considered for immunosuppressive medication.
  • Surgery: The best course of treatment for severe microscopic colitis occasionally involves surgery to remove a portion of the colon.


The illness known as microscopic colitis causes inflammation in the lining of your colon. The most typical sign of microscopic colitis is persistent diarrhoea that is runny. Although the precise origin of microscopic colitis is unknown, autoimmune diseases, genetics, and bacterial and viral infections are among the possible explanations.

Depending on the symptoms, treatment usually consists of diet adjustments and medication; if symptoms are severe, surgery may also be a possibility.


Is microscopic colitis common?

Studies indicate that over 700,000 individuals in the US suffer from microscopic colitis.

Does microscopic colitis ever go away?

Smallpox colitis might resolve on its own. However, you could require treatment to get rid of symptoms if they are severe or persistent. Physicians typically take a step-by-step approach, beginning with the most straightforward and tolerable therapy.

Can microscopic colitis come and go?

Microscopic colitis symptoms might come and go rather regularly. Occasionally, the symptoms go away on their own.

Can microscopic colitis cause cancer?

We show that there is no correlation between microscopic colitis and an increased risk of colonic or extra-colonic malignancies. This gives comfort to MC patients and the healthcare professionals who work with them.

Does microscopic colitis come and go?

Microscopic colitis symptoms might come and go rather regularly. Occasionally, the symptoms go away on their own.

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