Microscopic Colitis

Forms of Microscopic Colitis

Microscopic Colitis (MC) is a different condition from Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn’s Disease (two better known forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease) which affect the colon.

There are two main forms of MC, both known as Microscopic Colitis:

  • Collagenous Colitis (CC)

  • Lymphocytic Colitis (LC)

The condition is more common than was previously believed. It may be that the typical history of symptoms has not been recognised or investigations have been insufficient to make a diagnosis. Lymphocytic and Collagenous Colitis are very similar and cause the same symptoms.

In LC there is an increased number of lymphocytes within the lining of the colon.

In CC the lining of the colon develops a thicker than normal layer of collagen. This thicker layer is not found in LC. However, in CC there may also be an increased number of lymphocytes.



MC symptoms result from inflammation which makes the colon less efficient at absorbing the liquid from waste. This results in a larger volume of watery stools. The inflamed colon also cannot hold as much waste as normal, resulting in more frequent bowel movements.

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