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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Collagenous colitis

Other Names for this Disease
  • Microscopic colitis, collagenous type
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How might collagenous colitis be treated?

Treatment for collagenous colitis varies depending on the symptoms and severity in each affected individual. In some cases the condition may resolve on its own (spontaneous remission), although most people continue to have ongoing or occasional diarrhea.[1]

Dietary changes are usually tried first to alleviate symptoms. These changes may include a reduced-fat diet, eliminating foods that contain caffeine and lactose, and avoiding over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or aspirin. If these changes alone are not enough, medications can be used to help control symptoms.[1] However, the response rate to various types of medication reportedly varies.[2] Prescription anti-inflammatory medications such as mesalamine and sulfasalazine may help reduce swelling. Steroids including budesonide and prednisone can be used reduce inflammation, but they are usually only used to control sudden attacks of diarrhea. Long-term use of steroids is typically avoided because of unwanted side effects. Anti-diarrheal medications such as bismuth subsalicylate, diphenoxylate with atropine, and loperamide can offer short-term relief. Immunosuppressive agents such as azathioprine help to reduce inflammation but are rarely needed. In extreme cases where the condition does not respond to medications, surgery to remove all or part of the colon may be necessary. However, surgery is rarely recommended.[1]
Last updated: 6/21/2013

  1. Collagenous Colitis and Lymphocytic Colitis. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). January 2006; Accessed 6/19/2013.
  2. Mahajan D, Goldblum JR, Xiao SY, Shen B, Liu X. Lymphocytic colitis and collagenous colitis: a review of clinicopathologic features and immunologic abnormalities. Adv Anat Pathol. January 2012; 19(1):28-38.

Clinical Trials & Research for this Disease

  • lists trials that are studying or have studied Collagenous colitis. Click on the link to go to to read descriptions of these studies.