Microscopic colitis may get better on its own without treatment. But when symptoms persist or are severe, treatment may be necessary to relieve them. Doctors usually try a stepwise approach, starting with the simplest, most easily tolerated treatments.
Diet and medication changes
Treatment usually begins with changes to your diet and medications that may help relieve persistent diarrhea. Your doctor may recommend that you:
- Eat a low-fat, low-fiber diet. Foods that contain less fat and are low in fiber may help relieve diarrhea.
- Discontinue any medication that might be a cause of your symptoms. Your doctor may recommend a different medication to treat an underlying condition.
If signs and symptoms persist, your doctor may recommend:
- Anti-diarrhea medications
- Medications that block bile acids, which can contribute to diarrhea
- Steroid or anti-inflammatory medications to help control colon inflammation
- Medications that suppress the immune system to help reduce inflammation in the colon
When the symptoms of microscopic colitis are severe, and medications aren't effective, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove all or part of your colon. Surgery is a rare treatment for microscopic colitis. It is imperative that other causes of diarrhea be excluded before surgery is considered.
Jan. 30, 2013
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- AskMayoExpert. Does surgery have a role in management of microscopic colitis? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2009.
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- AskMayoExpert. Should all patients with microscopic colitis be tested for celiac disease? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2009.
- Nutrition therapy for diarrhea. Nutrition Care Manual. American Dietetic Association. https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:kL8NLFTBEt8J:nutritioncaremanual.org/vault/editor/Docs/DiarrheaNutritionTherapy_FINAL.pdf+nutrition+therapy+for+diarrhea&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShCAF64UkfWELX-_iienWkqA6SM2sk2HKe8HmEr5fOT-ZLzW9hbdwSoOuVhxjn4IykLy1popBOTKYxVT2hrPhqImrzpW_kzIhxffQ5ZNDkMp_lwP13vX8Xl1FmjaWJ5QDNzHQBg&sig=AHIEtbQw86uZbSC8HTTPMg8rQFWkFBHbPA. Accessed Nov.4, 2012.
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