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This website is dedicated to the OTHER Inflammatory Bowel Diseases — Microscopic Colitis, Collagenous Colitis, Lymphocytic Colitis, Mastocytic Enterocolitis, and Associated Issues

Treatment methods found to be most effective

Treatments typically prescribed by gastroenterologists to treat microscopic colitis span a wide spectrum.  They include various drugs ranging from anti-inflammatories to immune system suppressants at one extreme, to antidiarrheals and antidepressants that have the side effect of constipation, at the other extreme.  For some patients, some of these drugs are effective, and for others, not so much.  We all seem to be different in our response to medications.  Often, they will provide temporary relief of symptoms, but some drugs (such as corticosteroids) can only be used on a short-term basis, and all drugs carry a risk of side effects.  The main problem with all drug treatments used for this disease is that unless they are continued indefinitely, the patient's symptoms typically relapse, soon after the drugs are discontiued.  Microscopic colitis is caused by inflammation in the intestines, and without continuing treatment, the inflammation almost always returns.  Since many people are not fond of taking powerful drugs for the rest of their life, (if it can be avoided), many people choose to control their symptoms by diet changes.

The following information is based on continuing epidemiological studies of the combined experiences of hundreds of patients who have microscopic colitis, and who share information about their experiences with various treatment programs on the discussion and support board associated with this website.  Experience shows that some cases of microscopic colitis are caused by a sensitivity to certain drugs, and often, when those drugs are discontinued, remission from symptoms occurs within a few days to a week or so.  In other cases, which are not drug-induced, patients typically respond to diet changes which involve removing certain food sensitivities from their diet.  Whether the inflammation is caused by drugs, or by food sensitivities, avoiding the cause of the inflammation is the key to remission.

A very high percentage of patients who have microscopic colitis have a form of non-celiac gluten sensitivity that cannot be detected by the classic celiac blood tests.  For those individuals, only the stool tests offered by EnteroLab, in Dallas, TX are sensitive enough to reliably and accurately detect sensitivities to not only gluten, but also other food sensitivities such as casein (the primary protein in all dairy products), soy, eggs, yeast, and others.  Food sensitivities can also be tracked down by using an exclusion diet (details of which can be found elsewhere on this site).

For cases where remission cannot be attained by diet changes, or by a combination of diet changes and drug treatment, there is a considerable amount of evidence that indicates that inappropriate mast cell activation is the cause of the continuing inflammation.  Many microscopic colitis patients in that situation find that they can control their symptoms by the use of an over-the-counter antihistamine.  While it may seem a bit far-fetched at first glance, some patients find that taking a simple antihistamine each day works almost as well at controlling their symptms as taking a corticosteroid, such as budesonide.  The fact that it works so well for so many patients, is prima facie evidence that inappropriate mast cell activation is indeed involved in the generation of the inflammation that causes and/or perpetuates microscopic colitis.  More detailed information about the role of mast cells in inflammatory bowel disease, and a discussion of treatment methods, can be found in these articles:

1. What are mast cells?

2. How are mast cells associated with microscopic colitis?

3. How do I know if mast cells are causing problems for me?

4. How are mast cell issues treated?

You may also find the information and the discussions at the following links to be helpful:

Discussions on Treatment Options Using Diet, and/or Medications

Member Success Stories

Dee's Kitchen

Meal Suggestions

Selecting Safe Cosmetics

Polls Related to Microscopic Colitis and Treatment Options

Jokes Room

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Certain members of the discussion board that is associated with this website are practicing medical professionals. They are not here to offer medial advice, they are here because they have been diagnosed with microscopic colitis, and they are interested in sharing their own personal experiences concerning the disease, and learning from others in all walks of life, who also have to deal with these issues. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your health, you should consult with your own doctor, or medical professional.

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