Joined: 25 May 2005
User's local time:
2013 May 24 - 12:27 PM
|Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 6:02 am Post subject: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
|What is the difference between Collageneous Colitis (CC), Lymphocytic Colitis (LC), Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and IBS or IBD?
Collageneous Colitis is marked by thickened collagen deposits in the epithelium of the colon, several times thicker than normal. Lymphocytic Colitis is marked by lymphocytic infiltration in the epithelial surface of the colonic mucosa, although CC may also show lymphocytes. In either case, the condition is usually referred to as just Microscopic Colitis.
Ulcerative Colitis, an Inflammatory Bowel Disease is usually marked by lesions (sores) in the mucosa (lining) of the colon, visible to the naked eye, and blood may be present in the stool. MC does not cause bleeding, and the colon mucosa typically looks normal to the naked eye.
IBD means “Inflammatory Bowel Disease” and includes ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s Disease, and MC. With IBD’s, there are findings of actual disease on medical tests. IBS stands for “Irritable Bowel Syndrome”, which is NOT an IBD and does NOT have any positive medical findings.
What causes MC?
It is thought that MC occurs when the body mistakenly recognizes the “good” bacteria in its colon as foreign and begins to make antibodies to kill them off. This upsets the natural balance of “good” vs. “bad” bacteria in the colon, which allows for an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria and leads to chronic inflammation.
What foods besides gluten can cause problems or aggravate my MC?
During an acute flare of MC, almost ANY food can aggravate MC – in particular, raw veggies, fruit, beans, nuts and seeds. Some with MC also have food intolerances in addition to gluten – dairy, yeast, soy, eggs, and other grains like corn, can all be triggers.
Is MC contagious?
No, however, some MC experts have wondered whether an infectious agent (like a paratuberculosis bacterium) might play a role in MC.
Can the SCD (Special Carbohydrate Diet) work for MC like it works for Ulcerative Colitis?
Yes. The SCD is more restrictive than the gluten-free diet, since it eliminates ALL grains and lactose-containing dairy products.
Is it possible to become pregnant if I have MC? (answered by founding member CAMary, who experienced a pregnancy and delivery while being treated with MC).
Yes, it is possible to become pregnant after an MC diagnosis! Many medications are safe for use during pregnancy. I, personally was taking Asacol, and went into diet-induced remission and was able to stop the medication during my pregnancy, and have stayed that way for nearly 3 years!
It is important to be in a relatively stable position with your MC at the beginning of pregnancy. As with other IBDs (Crohn’s, UC) it is presumed that the status of your disease is magnified by pregnancy – if you are doing well, you will probably feel even better while pregnant, and if you are highly symptomatic, you may experience further problems while pregnant. As with any medical issue, it is important to stay in contact with your doctor while pregnant.
How is MC diagnosed?
By examination under a miscroscope, of biopsies taken from the mucosa of the colon, during a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. The presence of thickened collagen layers and/or lymphocytic infiltration, allow the pathologist to make the diagnosis.
I have been diagnosed with MC, do I need a second opinion?
No, not if the diagnosis was made by looking at biopsy specimens of your colon under the microscope.
Is MC fatal or chronic? Can it be cured?
While there is no evidence of death from MC, the quality of life can be greatly affected. This has been referred to as a debilitating disease. Until the symptoms are under control, lifestyles can be greatly hindered.
While there is no cure for MC at this time, through medications or diet or a combination of both, MC can be brought into remission (the elimination of symptoms). Spontaneous remission with MC can also occur.
Can MC lead to other diseases or further health problems like cancer, autoimmune disorders or skin rashes?
It has been documented that those with MC have an increased risk of additional autoimmune diseases, such as thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes type I, lupus, etc.
A skin condition called “Dermatitis Herpetiformis” or DH can occur in those who have gluten sensitivity along with the MC. The characteristic rash looks like tiny blisters, can be quite itchy, and often occurs on the hands but can occur in other areas as well.
How common is MC?
We have found that not a lot is known about this disease which is considered to be a rare form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). It is rare enough that many doctors do not know how to treat it, and it's commonly misdiagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Much of the newest research has not been published at this time, so many doctors do not have access to updated information
How can I get immediate relief from my symptoms?
Following a BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Tea) for several days will allow for the colon to begin to heal. Reintroduction of foods should be done slowly and should begin with easily-tolerated foods like plain chicken, cooked carrots or squash and baked sweet potatoes.
What are the symptoms and severity of MC?
The symptoms can vary in type and severity. Most common are explosive diarrhea 10-20 (or more) times per day, fatigue, joint pain, stomach pain or discomfort, gas and bloating among others. The severity varies from person to person.
What medications are generally taken for MC symptoms?
Asacol/Colazal (anti-inflammatory); Entocort (steroid); Lotronex (predominately a medication for IBS); Prednisone (steroid and immunosuppressant); Imuran (immuno-suppressant).
For symptomatic relief: Tylenol (acetaminophen) for mild pain relief; Ultram for moderate to severe pain; Lomotil/Immodium (antidiarrheals); Levsin (anti-spasmotic – usually prescribed for IBS); Questran (cholestyramine) usually used to lower cholesterol or treat gallbladder obstruction but sometimes helps to reduce the diarrhea.
Are there any medications found to increase the symptoms of MC?
NSAIDS like aspirin, Advil, Ibuprofen and Naproxen; Fiber (insoluble fiber) often causes gas and bloating; Antibiotics are often necessary but can make MC worse. While on antibiotics, a good probiotic might help to replace the “good” bacteria in the gut. Lansoprazole (Prevacid) is a proton pump inhibitor, which has been documented to cause MC. H2 blockers might be a better choice for those with MC. These include Pepcid AC, Zantac and Axid.
Should I take Vitamins/Supplements?
Many have found that probiotics help to boost the good bacteria in the gut. Vitamins and other nutrients may not be absorbed properly with active MC, and minerals may be lost when chronic diarrhea is present. Many choose to replace these with a daily multi-vitamin/mineral pill. Be sure that the inert ingredients in the pill you choose are free from any food intolerances you have, like gluten or dairy. Always check with your doctor before taking new supplements, especially while taking prescribed medication.
How can I find out more about MC?
This message board is filled with testimonials to diet and/or medication treatments, food intolerances and ways to handle the symptoms of MC. In the “Information” section of the board are many links to follow on the internet and combined information that will help to answer your questions. And don't forget to ask any and all questions you may have.
"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." -- Buddha
Joined: 24 May 2005
User's local time:
2013 May 24 - 12:27 PM
Food Intolerances : Gluten, casein, and avenin, (avenin is the prolamin in oats, which is equivalent to the gluten in wheat), grapes, peanuts, cashews, almonds, (probably all nuts)
Location: Central Texas
|Posted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:15 pm Post subject:
You're posting in information forums. You need to post in discussion forums, where more members will see your posts, and respond to your questions, (such as the Main Message Board).
It is suspected that some of the hardest material known to science can be found in the skulls of GI specialists who insist that diet has nothing to do with the treatment of microscopic colitis.