Collagenous colitis is a newly-recognized, fairly rare disease of the colon. It is a disorder with poorly understood origins, but one with troubling symptoms. Collagenous colitis is a microscopic colitis because colonoscopy typically has no signs of inflammation on the surface of the colon. On a colonoscopy, the bowel lining will appear normal, but microscopic examination of biopsies will reveal inflammation and the presence of a band-like substance called collagen–a component of scar tissue.
Rare But There
Collagenous colitis was first described in 1976, and it is being diagnosed more frequently. The incidence of collagenous colitis is rare with only 42 in 100,000 being diagnosed with the disease, according to the National Institutes of Health. But, if you are one of those 42, then you know how life-changing this condition can be. Balanced Well-Being Healthcare is here to help restore your vitality and hope for combating your symptoms and triggers.
Prevailing Collagenous Colitis Symptoms
This condition will have period of remission intertwined with life-altering flare-ups. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. While every case is different, the most reported symptoms of collagenous colitis include the following:
- bloating and gas
- fecal incontinence or accidental stool passage (especially at night)
- reduced nutrition
- chronic watery, diarrhea or loose stool, (often between 3-20 times a day)
- abdominal cramping and pain
- weight loss
- nausea and vomiting
If you have watery diarrhea that lasts for a few days (or more), contact a member of our Balanced Well-Being Healthcare team so that your condition can be diagnosed and properly treated.
What Causes Collagenous Colitis?
While the exact origins of this condition are undetermined, certain groups have been shown to more at risk for developing the condition. Collagenous colitis is most prevalent in people between the ages of 50-70. It is also found to be more common in women, with research suggesting that it may have something to do with the decrease in hormones in women after menopause. Those that suffer from an autoimmune disorder–like celiac disease, thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes or psoriasis–are also shown to be more at risk for this colitis. A family history of irritable bowel syndrome has also been linked to the condition. Recent research studies have demonstrated an association between tobacco smoking and microscopic colitis, primarily in people ages 16 to 44. Certain medications may also augment your risk of colitis. Consult with your doctor about your current medications and any that you have taken, over time, in the past.
Our Gut Healing Program
At Balanced Well-Being Healthcare we offer our patients a ‘Four R’ gut healing program to fight collagenous colitis and the effects it has on your life and well-being. The Four R’s in our process are:
- Remove the problem(s). Our first step of action is to remove the offending foods, pathogens, and toxins harming your current gut health. This means we assess your intake of caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, sugars, gluten, dairy, grains and beans. In this step we also want to remove any pathogenic bacteria or infections that have come to light through testing. We may use a combination of prescriptives and herbal antimicrobials depending on your specific findings.
- Replace what you are missing to ensure proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. In this step we want to replace any digestive aids that you may be lacking. Digestive enzymes and stomach acid are the most common. Including these when indicated will better help you utilize the nutrients that you are taking in through food.
- Inoculate with beneficial bacteria (i.e. Probiotics). Restoring beneficial bacteria to reestablish a healthy balance of good bacteria in your gut is critical for health and immune function. We typically recommend anywhere from 10 -100 billion units a day. Also, taking a prebiotic (food for the good bacteria) or consuming foods high in soluble fiber is important.
- Repair the gut lining. Providing the nutrients necessary to help the gut repair itself is essential. We use nutrients like L-Glutamine, omega 3’s, zinc, aloe vera, curcumin, and slippery elm to help repair and rebuild the gut lining.
Call for a Gut Testing and Collagenous Colitis Consultation Today!
Learn how to combat your collagenous colitis symptoms today and how you can benefit from gut testing. Call 970-631-8286 and discover how healthy you are on a biochemical, molecular level. Learn strategies and tips to balance your body physically, mentally and emotionally so you can have what you need for total body wellness.