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Collagenous colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that affects the colon. It is a form of microscopic colitis, which causes chronic diarrhea. It typically occurs in middle-aged adults, is more common in females than in males, and has rarely been reported in children. In all forms of microscopic colitis, the colon appears normal or almost normal on colonoscopy, but the inflammation is visible when a biopsy of the colon is examined under a microscope (hence its name).
Signs and symptoms include chronic, watery, non-bloody diarrhea that may begin suddenly or worsen over time. People with this disease usually have between four and nine watery bowel movements per day, but in rare cases may have more than fifteen. Various other symptoms relating to the gastrointestinal system or other body symptoms may also be present.
The cause of collagenous colitis is not known but it is thought to be multifactorial. This means that both genetic and environmental factors may interact to cause a person to develop the disease. The extent to which genes play a role is unclear, but familial cases have been described. Certain medications, such as NSAIDS and proton pump inhibitors, have been reported to cause or trigger the disease in some people. However, strong evidence directly linking these medications to the disease is still lacking.
The main goal of treatment is to lessen the number of bowel movements per day and improve quality of life. Treatment depends on the symptoms and severity in each person and may involve avoiding or discontinuing medications that may be associated with the disease, taking anti-diarrheal medications, budesonide, or other medications. Surgery to remove all or part of the colon may be needed in severe cases that do not respond to other treatments. In some cases, diarrhea resolves within weeks (with or without treatment), but relapses are common.
Source: GARD Last updated on 05-01-20
The main symptom of collagenous colitis is chronic, watery, non-bloody diarrhea. Diarrhea may occur gradually and worsen over time, or it may occur very suddenly. People with this disease usually have between four and nine watery bowel movements per day, but in rare cases may have more than 15 bowel movements. Other signs and symptoms may include sudden urges to have a bowel movement, uncontrolled bowel movements (fecal incontinence), abdominal pain or cramping, flatulence ("passing gas"), nausea, fatigue, bloating, and weight loss. In some cases, the disease is also associated with joint pain, arthritis, or eye inflammation (uveitis).
Last updated on 05-01-20
Treatment for collagenous colitis varies depending on the symptoms and severity in each person. The main goals of treatment are to decrease the number of bowel movements per day (typically to less than 3, with no watery bowel movements) and to improve quality of life. In some cases the condition may resolve on its own (spontaneous remission), although most people continue to have ongoing or occasional diarrhea. The response to different therapies differs from person to person, so more than one therapy may need to be tried (alone or in combination with others).
Treatment options that have been tried with varying success include:
Last updated on 05-01-20
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