Lymphocytic colitis is a disorder that causes swelling of large intestine. It is also known as microscopic colitis since this problem has to be examined under a microscope for diagnosing it. Two major types of colitis are recognized. One is collagenous colitis which is marked by thick protein layer on the tissue of the colon and the second is lymphocytic colitis which is marked by swelling or inflammation of colon tissue due to accumulation of white blood cells.
The below symptoms are not the same for every person who has developed lymphocytic colitis. Nausea, incontinence of stool, passing loose stools, sudden weight loss and pain in the abdomen are some of the signs of this disorder.
The causative factors are not specific and experts believe that this disorder can be caused due to certain factors like prolonged intake of certain medicines (that would destroy the soft lining of the colon), virus or bacterial infection (that may produce toxins destroying the inner lining) and autoimmune disorders like lupus or arthritis in which the body’s immune system will destroy healthy cells of the colon by mistake.
Who are at risk?
People who are aged, and have problems in their immune system are more prone to get disorders in colon than others. Women are likely to get more problem than men in their menopause age. Intake of certain medications like proton pump inhibitors, zantac and serotonin reuptake inhibitors can cause the risk of developing lymphocytic colitis.
Your doctor will assess the symptoms given above and complete physical examination of your body. He would rule out the possibilities of celiac disease for diarrhea and collect medical history from you. He may order for blood culture, biopsy of the tissue from your digestive tract (to rule out celiac disease), and colonoscopy test for detecting intestinal disorders. Some doctors use sigmoidoscopy in which thin tubing fitted with camera is sent into the colon for viewing the position.
Mild forms of lymphocytic colitis do not require any treatment. You can visit the doctor if you have serious symptoms for more than a week. Your doctor will change your diet for arresting diarrhea problem. He would ask you to be on low fat and low fiber diet for some days till loose stool is controlled. He would prescribe medicines for managing diarrhea and further give anti-inflammatory medications that contain steroid or salicylates for reducing inflammation of the colon.
In case of immune related cause, then you will be given drugs for suppressing the immune system. If your body does not respond to any medicines and the symptoms are getting worse, he may suggest surgery for removing colon. This is done in rare cases.
Home Remedies :
For controlling diarrhea you can eat soft low fat diets. Avoid taking foods like beans, cauliflower and nuts that contains high fiber during this time. Replace them by rice and bananas. Eat small amounts of food frequently to help easy digestion. Drink plenty of water and fluids that contain sodium and potassium. Avoid coffee, tea and soft drinks which may worsen the symptoms. Restrict eating spicy foods that would aggravate diarrhea.