Microscopic colitis can be found in two forms: collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis. These forms of colitis cause persistent watery diarrhea. Many forms of inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are easily diagnosed by colonoscopy as the tissue appears red and irregular upon visual inspection. However, with microscopic colitis the lining appears normal and requires a biopsy to make a diagnosis.
Symptoms of microscopic colitis include watery, non-bloody diarrhea. The diarrhea may be continuous or episodic. Discomfort in the rectum or abdomen may be present. The cause of microscopic colitis is unknown. Some believe the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be a factor. Microscopic colitis most often occurs in women over the age of 65, but can occur at any time during adulthood.
Microscopic ccolitis may also occur in people after years of taking antibiotics that alter the probiotic balance of the bowels and also change the chemistry of the tissue. Intolerances to foods may develop as well as food allergies.
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