Overview

Microscopic colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), meaning it is classified by inflammation in the intestine. Microscopic colitis is less serious than Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. 

Causes

Like other forms of IBD, there is not a known cause for microscopic colitis, Probable causes include an autoimmune disorder, infections, and prolonged use of certain medications.

Symptoms

The most common symptom is chronic diarrhea. This diarrhea can be severe, lasting for long periods of time. Diarrhea can be accompanied by a urgent need to go to the bathroom, cramping and abdominal pain, weight loss, and nausea. Dehydration can occur from the severity of diarrhea.

Diagnosis

In order to diagnoses microscopic colitis, a small sample of the colon must be viewed under a microscope. The sample is taken during a colonoscopy.

Treatment

Treatment for microscopic colitis includes eliminating medications that may be contributing to the condition and lifestyle and dietary changes. There are medications for the treatment of microscopic colitis. These medications have a high degree of success in managing the symptoms.