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Microscopic Colitis


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.



  • 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.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.


  • Avoid foods, drinks, or medicines that make your symptoms worse: You may need to avoid caffeine, chocolate, peppermint, and foods high in fat. Talk to your primary healthcare provider about medicine that may make your symptoms worse.
  • Drink liquids as directed: Adults should drink between 9 and 13 eight-ounce cups of liquid every day. Ask what amount is best for you. Drink more if you are outdoors or exercising for long periods. This will help prevent dehydration. For most people, good liquids to drink are water, juice, and milk.
  • Get plenty of rest: Rest when you feel it is needed. Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your daily activities as directed.
  • Ask about probiotics: You may need supplements that help balance the bacteria in your colon. This will help decrease you symptoms.

Contact your primary healthcare provider if:

  • You are losing weight without trying.
  • You have a fever, chills, coughing, or feel weak and achy.
  • Your diarrhea gets worse.
  • Your symptoms do not improve or get worse.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have difficulty breathing.
  • You have a fever with abdominal pain that does not go away.
  • Your abdomen feels swollen or hard.
  • You have black or bright red stools.
  • You have blood in your vomit.
  • You have any of the following signs of dehydration:
    • Dizziness or weakness
    • Dry mouth, cracked lips, or severe thirst
    • Fast heartbeat or breathing
    • Passing little to no urine

© 2015 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.