Microscopic Colitis Treatment in Denver, CO
Receiving a medical diagnosis can be as relieving as it is daunting. On one hand, many patients are happy to have answers about their condition. But on the other, it can be scary to think something isn’t right with your body. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with microscopic colitis, Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology is here to help. Our Denver, CO specialists provide cutting-edge treatment for a wide range of conditions, including colitis. We’d be glad to consult with you, learn more about your concerns, and develop a treatment plan.
What Is Microscopic Colitis?
Microscopic colitis is a type of inflammation of the colon, or large intestine, that can cause persistent diarrhea and stomach pain. Unlike other forms of colitis, it’s challenging to see during a colonoscopy because the inflammation occurs at a microscopic level. The condition is often grouped with other inflammatory bowel diseases and tends to affect older women more often than men. Learn more about the primary types of microscopic colitis:
- Collagenous Colitis: This condition occurs when the collagen lining in the colon thickens too much. This tissue can become inflamed and cause intense discomfort.
- Lymphocytic Colitis: This form of microscopic colitis affects the surface layer of the intestine. When white blood cells in the area become too dense, they can trigger colitis symptoms.
How Do I Know If I Have Microscopic Colitis?
While microscopic colitis is not as severe as other inflammatory bowel diseases, it can still lead to harmful effects. Knowing the most common microscopic colitis symptoms is crucial, as identifying your condition early means quicker relief. Let your doctor know if you have any of these symptoms:
- Persistent diarrhea
- Watery stools
- Abdominal pain
- Fecal incontinence
- Unexplained weight loss
- Frequent bowel movements
What Causes Microscopic Colitis?
The exact cause of microscopic colitis is not fully understood. However, researchers believe it may be an immune response triggered by certain factors. Some potential triggers could include bacterial infections, viruses, or certain medications that irritate the lining of the colon. Other possible contributing factors include age and existing autoimmune disorders. While these factors may potentially play a part, additional research is needed to fully understand the microscopic colitis causes.
Explore Methods for Diagnosis
Before conducting any tests, your doctor will ask for information about your family medical history and current medications. We may order a blood test or stool sample to investigate further. If we suspect microscopic colitis, we may need to confirm it with a colonoscopy. During these procedures, a long, flexible tube equipped with a light and camera at the end is used to explore the interior of the colon. If we observe any areas of concern, small samples of tissue can be taken for further examination under a microscope. Although the colon may appear normal to the naked eye during the procedure, a microscopic examination of the tissue can reveal inflammation.
Ask Us About Treatment Options
The good news is that microscopic colitis can be successfully treated without invasive measures. Occasionally, severe cases require surgery, but most of the time, symptoms clear up with medication. Explore a few potential microscopic colitis treatments:
Medication is often the first line of defense against microscopic colitis. After a thorough examination of a patient’s condition and medical records, we may prescribe one of several medicines. Anti-diarrheals, corticosteroids, and bulking agents are all possible options.
Certain lifestyle modifications can lessen symptoms. For instance, limiting intake of caffeine, lactose, and fatty foods can be helpful, as these can exacerbate diarrhea. Increasing fiber and identifying food intolerances is also advised. We may recommend adjusting your current medication regimen and quitting smoking.
Providing Quality Medical Care in the Denver Metro Area
Microscopic colitis is no walk in the park. It’s harder to identify than many other GI conditions and can cause serious discomfort if left unaddressed. Thankfully, Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology is here to offer effective medical care for patients in the Denver area. Contact us today to consult with one of our providers.Go back