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Inflammation of the colon that is only apparent by microscopic examination

Symptoms of Microscopic colitis

The following features are indicative of Microscopic colitis:
  • chronic watery diarrhea
  • abdominal pain
  • weight loss
  • nausea
  • fecal incontinence

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Common Causes of Microscopic colitis

The following are the most common causes of Microscopic colitis:
  • bacterial toxins
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • viral infections
  • few medications that can irritate the lining of the colon

Risk Factors for Microscopic colitis

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Microscopic colitis:
  • more prominent in age between 50 to 70 years
  • common in women as compared to males
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • type 1 diabetes
  • family history of irritable bowel syndrome
  • tobacco smoking

Prevention of Microscopic colitis

No, it is not possible to prevent Microscopic colitis.

Occurrence of Microscopic colitis

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Microscopic colitis cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Microscopic colitis most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 50-70 years

Common Gender

Microscopic colitis can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Microscopic colitis

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Microscopic colitis:
  • Physical examination: Determines the factors which contributes to diarrhea
  • Colon tissue biopsy: To examine an internal structure of colon
  • Stool testing: To rule out infection as the cause of persistent diarrhea
  • Blood test: To diagnose signs of anemia or infection
  • Upper endoscopy with biopsy: To examine the upper part of digestive tract

Complications of Microscopic colitis if untreated

Yes, Microscopic colitis causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Microscopic colitis is left untreated:
  • colon cancer

Procedures for Treatment of Microscopic colitis

The following procedures are used to treat Microscopic colitis:
  • Surgery: To remove part of colon

Self-care for Microscopic colitis

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Microscopic colitis:
  • Eat small meals in place of large meals: Spacing meals throughout the day may ease diarrheal conditions
  • Avoid eating irritating foods: Stay away from spicy, fatty or fried foods in order to prevent worsening of microscopic colitis
  • Choose soft, easy-to-digest foods: To prevent symptoms of microscopic colitis

Time for Treatment of Microscopic colitis

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Microscopic colitis to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Disease cannot be treated but only maintained or effects reduced

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Microscopic colitis.

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