Collagenous Colitis

What is Collagenous Colitis?

Collagenous colitis is a type of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the body’s immune system is attacking normal cells. It is a form of colitis, which is an inflammation of the intestine. Collagenous colitis is marked by the presence of a thick layer of collagen underneath the cells of the intestine. This thick layer of collagen makes it difficult for nutrients to be properly absorbed, leading to diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and other symptoms.

Collagenous colitis is more common in women than in men. It is also typically found in people over the age of 50. It is believed to be an inherited disorder, but it can also be caused by certain medications or from an infection.

Symptoms of Collagenous Colitis

The primary symptoms of collagenous colitis include:

  • Chronic diarrhea, which may contain mucus
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Blood in the stools
  • Fatigue and malaise
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite

Diagnosis and Treatment

Collagenous colitis is typically diagnosed through a colonoscopy. A doctor will also typically take a biopsy of the affected area to confirm the diagnosis. After the diagnosis is confirmed, a doctor will likely recommend a course of medications to treat the condition, such as anti-inflammatory drugs or antibiotics. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to remove the affected section of the intestine.

In addition to medications, dietary changes may be recommended to reduce symptoms. This can include avoiding certain trigger foods, limiting caffeine, and eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fiber. Stress management techniques can also help reduce symptoms. Some people have also found relief from alternative treatments, such as probiotics or acupuncture.