Lymphocytic colitis is a type of bowel inflammation that affects the colon. In order to detect this disease, the doctor would need to perform a biopsy, which is a process where a piece of your tissue would be removed from the lining of your intestine.
You may experience chronic, watery, non-bloody diarrhea, and abdominal pain or cramps if you have lymphocytic colitis. However, there are times when the symptoms for the disease do not show.
The medical community is still unsure about what causes lymphocytic colitis. It is assumed that certain bacteria, toxins or viruses trigger the inflammation and damage to the colon. It is also theorized that the disease is caused by autoimmune response, where the body's immune system destroys healthy cells for reasons yet to be discovered.
No one is actually safe from lymphocytic colitis. Both men and women are often diagnosed with this condition, although statistics show that there are more women affected by this disease compared to men. The majority of the people affected are between 60 to 80 years of age, but there have been reported cases where the victims are adults who are less than 45 years old. There have also been reports of lymphocytic colitis in children.
The first step to treating lymphocytic colitis is to overhaul your lifestyle. Reduce the consumption of fat in the diet and eliminate the intake of caffeine, lactose and over-the-counter pain relievers.
If this still does not remedy the situation, medications can be taken to help control the symptoms. Anti-inflammatory medications and steroids are used to reduce the inflammation, but steroids are only recommended to reduce the occurrence of diarrhea. Intake of steroids should be regulated to avoid detrimental side effects.
Immunosuppressive agents can also reduce inflammation, but this medication is rarely necessary. In extreme cases, the doctor may suggest removal of the colon. However, this is not really necessary as long as lymphocytic colitis is treated early and does not evolve to become colon cancer.