Microscopic colitis is a condition in which there is inflammation of the colon (large intestine) that is only visible when the colon's lining is examined under a microscope. The appearance of the colon lining in microscopic colitis is normal by when observed during colonoscopy, and the condition is diagnosed when a pathologist examines biopsies of the colon lining. Two types of microscopic colitis include lymphocytic colitis and collagenous colitis.
The main sign of microscopic colitis is chronic watery diarrhea. The diarrhea may be present for months or years before the diagnosis is made. The symptoms and signs usually begin very gradually and alternate with periods when the person feels well, followed by bouts of chronic diarrhea. In some cases, mild abdominal cramps or pain are associated symptoms.
Cause of microscopic colitis
The cause of microscopic colitis is unknown.
Other microscopic colitis symptoms and signs
- Abdominal Pain
- Chronic Watery Diarrhea
- Mild Abdominal Cramps
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions
Learn about the digestive system and common misconceptions of digestive disorders. Read about what causes ulcers, heartburn,...
Digestive Disorders: Foods That Help or Hurt Tummy Cramps
What you eat can affect your cramps -- for better or for worse. Here are the best and worst foods and drinks for when you’re in...
Digestive Disorders: Reasons Your Stomach Hurts
A belly ache can be a sign of so many things -- some serious, some not-so-serious. Check out a few possibilities.
Super Tips to Boost Digestive Health: Bloating, Constipation, and More
Upset stomach? Some foods may be the culprits, and bad habits may be to blame. Treat your body right with these simple nutrition...
Digestive Disorders Resources
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter