Microscopic Colitis

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Microscopic colitis is long-term inflammation of your colon (large intestine). With microscopic colitis, you may have damage to the lining of your colon that causes chronic diarrhea.


CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

Surgery to remove a part of your colon may increase your risk of infection or bleeding. If not treated, microscopic colitis may interfere with your daily activities. Diarrhea may cause dehydration and can be life-threatening.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Eat a variety of healthy foods:

These include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meat, and fish. Eating healthy foods may help you feel better and have more energy. It may also help you heal faster.

Intake and output:

Caregivers will keep track of the amount of liquid you are getting. They also may need to know how much you are urinating. Ask how much liquid you should drink each day. Ask caregivers if they need to measure or collect your urine.

Medicines:

  • Antibiotics: This medicine fights or prevents an infection caused by bacteria. Take them as directed.

  • Antidiarrhea medicine: This medicine treats or prevents diarrhea.

  • Steroids: This medicine may be given to decrease inflammation.

  • Bile binders: These help to bind the bile acids and reduce irritation to the lining of your colon.

  • Immunosuppressants: This medicine helps control your immune system and decrease the swelling.

Tests:

  • Blood tests: These tests may help find the cause of your microscopic colitis.

  • Bowel movement sample: A sample of your bowel movement is sent to a lab for tests. The tests may show what germ is causing your illness. This helps caregivers learn what medicine is best to treat you.

  • Abdominal x-rays: Abdominal x-rays are pictures of the organs inside your abdomen. Caregivers use these pictures to look for problems such as blocked or ruptured intestines, kidney stones, or solid masses (tumors) in your organs.

  • Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy is a procedure to examine the inside of your colon (large intestine) using a flexible tube with a small light and camera on the end. During a colonoscopy, caregivers may remove a small amount of tissue from the colon for a biopsy.

Treatments:

  • Supportive therapy:

    • Oral rehydration solution: This helps treat or prevent dehydration. An ORS has the right amounts of water, salts, and sugar you need to replace body fluids.

    • IV fluids: You may need fluids through an IV if you are dehydrated.

    • Probiotics: These are supplements that help balance the bacteria in your colon.

  • Surgery: If your symptoms do not improve, you may need to have surgery to remove part of your colon.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Microscopic Colitis (Inpatient Care)

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