Tests and diagnosisBy Mayo Clinic staff
A complete medical history and physical examination can help determine whether other conditions may be contributing to your diarrhea, including:
- Celiac disease
- Autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis
Your doctor will ask about any medications you are taking, particularly aspirin and ibuprofen, which may increase your risk of microscopic colitis.
Tests used to diagnose microscopic colitis may include:
- Stool sample analysis to help rule out infection as the cause of persistent diarrhea.
- Blood test or upper endoscopy with biopsy to rule out celiac disease. In endoscopy, a long, thin tube with a camera on the end is used to examine the upper part of your digestive tract. A tissue sample (biopsy) may be removed for analysis in the laboratory.
- Colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy with biopsy to help rule out other intestinal disorders. Both tests use a long, thin tube with a camera on the end to examine the inside of your colon. The colons of people with microscopic colitis appear normal. A biopsy can be obtained during colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy and analyzed for signs of microscopic colitis.
- Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&about=true&uniqId=229935664-2192. Accessed Nov. 4, 2012.
- Collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis. National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/collagenouscolitis/index.aspx. Accessed Nov. 4, 2012.
- AskMayoExpert. Are lymphocytic and collagenous colitis treated similarly? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2009.
- Pardi DS, et al. Microscopic colitis. Reviews in Basic and Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2011;140:1155.
- AskMayoExpert. Does surgery have a role in management of microscopic colitis? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2009.
- Chetty R, et al. Lymphocytic and collagenous colitis: An overview of so-called microscopic colitis. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2012; 9:209.
- AskMayoExpert. Should all patients with microscopic colitis be tested for celiac disease? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2009.
- Nutrition therapy for diarrhea. Nutrition Care Manual. American Dietetic Association. https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:kL8NLFTBEt8J:nutritioncaremanual.org/vault/editor/Docs/DiarrheaNutritionTherapy_FINAL.pdf+nutrition+therapy+for+diarrhea&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShCAF64UkfWELX-_iienWkqA6SM2sk2HKe8HmEr5fOT-ZLzW9hbdwSoOuVhxjn4IykLy1popBOTKYxVT2hrPhqImrzpW_kzIhxffQ5ZNDkMp_lwP13vX8Xl1FmjaWJ5QDNzHQBg&sig=AHIEtbQw86uZbSC8HTTPMg8rQFWkFBHbPA. Accessed Nov.4, 2012.