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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Lymphocytic colitis

*

* Not a rare disease

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Overview

Lymphocytic colitis is form of microscopic colitis, a condition that is characterized by inflammation of the colon (large intestines). As the name suggests, microscopic colitis can only be diagnosed by examining a small sample of colon tissue under a microscope. In lymphocytic colitis, specifically, the tissues and lining of the colon are of normal thickness, but an increase in the number of lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) is observed. Signs and symptoms of the condition may include chronic, watery diarrhea; abdominal pain, cramping, and bloating; weight loss; nausea; dehydration; and/or fecal incontinence.[1][2][3] The underlying cause of lymphocytic colitis is currently unknown; however, scientists suspect that autoimmune conditions, medications, infections, genetic factors, and/or bile acid malabsorption may contribute to the development of the condition.[2] Treatment is based on the signs and symptoms present in each person and may include certain medications, dietary modifications, and in rare cases, surgery.[2][3]
Last updated: 4/6/2016

References

  1. Microscopic colitis. Mayo Clinic. March 2016; http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/microscopic-colitis/home/ovc-20192308.
  2. Microscopic Colitis: Collagenous Colitis and Lymphocytic Colitis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. June 2014; http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/microscopic-colitis/Pages/facts.aspx.
  3. Joyann A Kroser, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF. Collagenous and Lymphocytic Colitis. Medscape Reference. November 2015; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/180664-overview.
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Basic Information

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Lymphocytic colitis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.