What is Collagenous and Lymphocytic Colitis?

Collagenous and lymphocytic colitis are two of the less common types of inflammatory bowel disease. According to hopkinsmedicine.org, are forms of microscopic colitis that affect the large intestines. They are unrelated to more serious IBD conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. In fact, the inflammation caused by these conditions is so mild that it can only be observed under a microscope.

Unfortunately, the causes of these inflammations are unknown, although doctors have some ideas. Bacteria and the toxins they emit, viral infections, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are all thought to be possible causes. These conditions may also be the result of an autoimmune disorder, in which the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy cells.

Symptoms of Collagenous and Lymphocytic Colitis

The symptoms of collagenous and lymphocytic colitis are, fortunately, fairly mild. Chronic diarrhea, which is watery and not bloody, is the most frequent symptom. You may experience bouts of diarrhea or have it continuously. Some patients also experience abdominal pain and cramps.

If you are currently suffering from these conditions, contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tabib today. He can diagnose your disorder then recommend the best course of treatment for you.

Diagnosis of Collagenous and Lymphocytic Colitis

As previously stated, the inflammation can only be diagnosed by examining the cells under a microscope. Using colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy, Dr. Tabib can examine your colon. He can then collect tissue samples to be examined.

Collagenous colitis is marked by larger-than-normal bands of collagen in the cells, which cause the inflammation. Lymphocytic colitis is caused by inflammation of the white blood cells between the intestinal cells. Both conditions are mostly diagnosed in patients intheir 50s, although collagenous colitis has also been seen in children between 5 and 12. It also affects women more than men, whereas lymphocytic colitis affects men and women equally.

Treatment Options

Treating collagenous and lymphocytic colitis is usually accomplished by making lifestyle changes aimed at reducing diarrhea. In practical terms, this means reducing the intake of fatty foods, eliminating caffeine and lactose from your diet, also avoiding the use of NSAIDs. In some cases, the symptoms resolve on their own, although most patients experience recurrent bouts of diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Medications may be prescribed in cases where lifestyle changes alone prove ineffective. These may include:

  • Antidiarrheal medications, like bismuth subsalicylate and bulking agents.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications, like mesalamine, sulfasalazine, and steroids.
  • Immunosuppressive agents, although these are very rarely recommended.

In the most extreme cases, surgery to remove all or part of the colon can be used. This is usually a last resort.

Today, gastroenterology conditions can be treated effectively. We provide everyone a personalized gastroenterology treatment plan to meet your unique needs and improve your quality of life. Contact our gastroenterology and hepatology center to schedule a consolation with Los Angeles’ preferred  Gastroenterologist– Dr. Tabib.

Dr. Tabib’s completed his postgraduate fellowship, residency, and internships at the  UCLA/Cedar-Sinai Medical Center.

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Siamak Tabib, M.D., Inc.
8631 W 3rd St Suite 1015E,
Los Angeles, CA 90048

(310) 683-4911

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