Is microscopic colitis an inflammatory bowel disease?

Have you ever heard of microscopic colitis? Maybe not. But did you know that it is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)? Sounds serious right? Don’t worry, I got you covered on this topic.

Microscopic colitis might not be as well-known as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, but it is still important to understand what it really is and how it affects the body.

So, if you are ready to dive into some (not so) microscopic information about this fascinating subject, buckle up because we’re in for a wild ride!


Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is microscopic colitis? As its name suggests, microscopic refers to its small size that makes it hard to see during typical colonoscopies done by doctors. On the other hand,colitis means inflammation of the colon which causes symptoms like diarrhea, cramping and abdominal pain.

This condition usually affects people over 50 years old and more commonly found in women than men(Sorry ladies!) The incidence rate of MC has been on an upward trend globally (Gasp!) making understanding MC all the more crucial.


There are two main types of microscopic colitis:

  • Lymphocytic Colitis
  • Collagenous Colitis

Wait! Let me guess – You have never heard about these too?? Honestly speaking who’d expect us regular folks to keep tabs on every medical jargon??

Anyways let’s differentiate both subtypes starting with their key identifying features:

  1. Lymphocytic Colitis:
  2. Increase in white blood cells called lymphocytes present in colon lining.
  3. Minimal collagen deposition along basement membrane
  4. Collagenous Colits:
  5. Increase in collagen deposition along basement membrane with little to no emphasis on lymphocyte increase.

Both subtypes may co-exist which is called ‘Collagenous Lymphocytic Colitis’ .


As far as exact causes are concerned, it’s not clear what really triggers microscopic colitis but research suggests that various factors could contribute its slow and painful existence. These include:

  • Genetics (you can’t outrun your family history!)
  • Chronic auto-immune mechanisms (sucks, right?)
  • Certain medications like aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) (yikes!)
  • Gluten intolerance( That’s one such term you’ve heard before also known as celiac disease)

Though uncommonly the condition has been associated with some interesting circumstances too:
Bacterial overgrowth
Infection by viral agents

Well if anything these facts proves that saying “you never know” comes through for literally everything!


Microscopic colitis might be small enough to evade detection during colonoscopies initially, but once it makes itself known, it tends to pack a punch in the gut!!(<– good visual pun!) Here are some common symptoms of microscopic colitis:
• persistent diarrhea (no poop for thought there)
• Cramps in abdomen
• Weight loss without any intentional program (duh)
• Nausea/dizziness

In severe cases this problem may even lead to dehydration so make sure to drink water regularly(go figure!) . Multifarious Signs And Symptoms of Microscopic Colitis suggest an indiscernible similarity with those observed among Irritable Bowel Syndrome patients.


I bet many people wonder how someone could possibly live their life while experiencing all this…well I’ve got news – It’s hard!, who knew?? People struggling with microscopic colitis are bound to experience situations like these :

  • Avoid food festivals or street foods ( So much for the love of exploring different cuisines)
  • Frantically searching for washrooms on highways/railway stations/ airports (Big mood)
  • Developing a gut clicking noise you cannot control( The things we never knew existed..sigh.)

These moments surely make life more ‘interesting’ in one way or another!


Diagnosing microscopic colitis is no small task. It requires a thorough check of medical history, physical examination and may also include additional tests such as endoscopic biopsy which usually gives away certain telltale features (e.gCollagenous band) confirming diagnosis.

It’s best not to rely on self-diagnosis even if you match up with symptoms ,but rather go see an actual doctor! Chatting about your bowel movements might gonna sound scary but better out than in right?


Some laboratory testing can help narrow down possibilities too:
• Acute phase reactants increases.
• Elevated levels regarding C-reactive protein
• Testing stool samples for bacterial infections

If any/all of the above test come back positive, hurry up and see a doc !(high five!)


The good news is that microscopic colitis treatment options do exist!! Healthcare professionals mostly begin by suggesting medicines that will alleviate diarrhea, including:
Anti-Diarrheal medications (Loperamide | Diphenoxylate | Atropine Sulphate).
In addition patients find the following alternatives valuable:
Cholestyramine binds bile salts improving issues caused by excess stomach acid
Probiotics – Backed studies propogating helpfulness despite lack thereoff people tend to prefer them during flare ups

Additionally here are some lifestyle changes that can help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life:
– Avoid Forcing bowel movements
– Maintaining a fiber rich non spicy diet
– Exercise regularly to keep you moving

### Little Known TRUTH

According to an experiment conducted on individuals suffering from MC – introducing Carbonate of extract(Basella Alba) helped relieve gripes while boasting overall well-being as well according.

To recall, this herb is commonly used in Indian cuisine or more notably ‘palak'(Spinach).

Who knew our grandma’s cooking had all the answers!


In summary, microscopic colitis may not be the most famous disease under inflammatory bowel disease umbrella but it’s crucial that people be aware about it so they know what steps to take if they start experiencing symptoms. Timely medical intervention will create better management of MC with lesser complications latter down the main avenue (if at all)! So let’s show some love for our little-known friend in white gloves!!

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