In my practice as a gut health dietitian I see patients with microscopic colitis⁠⁠. On Instagram @AndreaHardyRD, I talk all about microscopic colitis – what it is, the symptoms and how to manage it!

Have you heard of Microscopic colitis (MC)? 🧐⁠⁠
Once thought to be quite rare – we are finding it more and more often as a cause of chronic diarrhea. ⁠⁠
It’s essentially a type of inflammatory bowel disease that involves chronic inflammation on a smaller scale than Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. It might not even be visible to the naked eye on a colonoscopy- which is why biopsies are so important!⁠⁠
There are two types of MC:⁠⁠
1️⃣ Collagenous colitis – the buildup of collagen ⁠⁠
2️⃣ Lymphocytic colitis – the buildup of lymphocytes ⁠⁠
Both result in inflammation and reduce the capacity for the colon to reabsorb fluid and electrolytes.⁠⁠
Symptoms of MC include:⁠⁠
– Chronic watery diarrhea⁠⁠
– Average of 4-9 watery stools her day⁠⁠
– Nocturnal stools⁠⁠
– Bowel incontinence⁠⁠
– Abdominal pain and cramping⁠⁠
– Urgency⁠⁠
– Fatigue⁠⁠
– Electrolyte imbalances⁠⁠
– Dehydration⁠⁠
– Weight loss⁠⁠
While diet is not a cure for MC, it can help with symptom management. We don’t have a ton of research on MC and nutrition – yet we know from experience with malabsorptive diarrhea, certain food-based strategies CAN help. ⁠⁠
This includes:⁠⁠
– Small, frequent meals⁠⁠
– Stool bulking with soluble fibre supplements⁠⁠
– Reducing caffeine intake⁠⁠
– Reducing alcohol intake⁠⁠
– Avoiding lactose-containing foods⁠⁠
– Avoiding spicy foods⁠⁠
– Avoiding higher fat or deep-fried foods⁠⁠
– Low FODMAP diet⁠⁠
Medication management is the cornerstone of managing MC. Patients often do get flare ups, where they might need more medication management, and have periods of remission where they might not.⁠⁠
Have you heard of microscopic colitis before or know someone who has been diagnosed with it? We have a great blog post on – link in bio! ⁠⁠